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' Vll^j^Wn i lW—. ' 



V MAY and MAY 

Whitebridge, Semley, 

Shaftesbury SP7 9QP 

Music and Music Literature 



ZH (UXdeter (^UBXcianR 

Edited bv 
FREDERICK J. CROWEST 




THE 

Master Musicians 



Bach. By C. F. Abdy Williams. 

\_2nd Edition. 
Beethoven. By Frederick J. Crowest. 

[4//^ Edition. 
Brahms. By J. Lawrence Erb. 
Chopin. By J. Cuthbert Hadden. 
Handel. By C. F. Abdy Williams. 

[2nd Edition. 
Haydn. By J. Cuthbert Hadden. 
Mendelssohn. By Stephen S. Stratton. 

[2fid Edition. 
Mozart. By Eustace J. Breakspeare. 
Schumann. By Annie W. Patterson. 
Schubert. By E. Duncan. 
Wagner. By Charles A. Lidgey. 

[T,rd Edition. 



Brahms 



By 



J. Lawrence Erb 



With Illustrations and Portraits 




London : J. M. Dent & Co. 

New York : E. P. Dutton & Co. 
1905 



All Rights Reserved 



MUSIC 
LIBRARY 

ML 
4iO 
11 EL, 
1105- 



TO 

Mr. LOUIS G. HEINZE 

IN GRATUFVI. APPRF.CIATION 



Preface 

The man who perpetrates a new book upon the long- 
suffering public owes that public an apology. Mine — 
which I trust will suffice— is that there does not exist 
in the English language, so far as I am aware, a complete 
up-to-date biography of Brahms. This little volume 
is an attempt to supply the deficiency. The work 
was conceived and carried out as a labour of love, 
and was meant to give to our English-speaking public 
a correct idea, so far as could be gathered from the 
writings of those who knew, of the principal facts 
concerning the character and achievements of one whom 
all must acknowledge as a Master Artist. 

To the authors of the works which have been 
consulted in the preparation of this book (the list to 
be exhaustive would be exhausting as well) I desire to 
extend my acknowledgment for the aid I have derived 
from them. To the readers I extend the hope that they 
may bring to the perusal of the volume an unbiased 
judgment, and that they may lay it down with a new 
sense of the greatness of one of the most faithful 
labourers for the advancement of all that is true in Art — 

Johannes Brahms. 

J. L. E. 

Brooklyn, New York. 



Contents 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



Date of Birth — His Father — His Mother — Father's Circumstances 
Poor — Education — Changes of Residence — Persecutions — 
His Brother and Sister — Youthful Adventure — Normal 
Child — Home Life — First Music Study — Change of 
Teachers — Fond of Books — Tin Soldiers — First Ap- 
pearance — Programme — Further Concerts — The First 
Tour — Remenyi — Early Privations — First Success as 
Pianist — Kreutzer Sonata — His Thorough Training — 
Meeting Joachim — Hanover and Politics — Meeting Liszt 
— Unfortunate Episode — Lost Sonata — To Dusseldorf 
— Meets Schumann — Dietrich — Brahms' Personality — 
Hanover Again — "Neuc Bahnen" — Gewandhaus — 
Centre of Controversy — "Lohengrin" — First Works 
— Third Sonata — Variation Form — Sceptics — Schumann's 
Friendship — Aid to Madame Schumann — Visits to En- 
denich — Personal Appearance — Characteristics — Pranks 
— Rubinstein — Mannerisms as a Pianist — Manner of 
Composing — The Period of Growth — Schumann's 
Death — Op. lo appears — First Piano Concerto — Serenades 
and Trio — More New Compositions — Advance over 
Former Work — Visit to Switzerland — " Handel 
Variations" and " Marienlieder " — Ladies' Quartet 
— Oldenburg — Miinster-am-Stein — Great Teaser — 
Oldenburg again — Affaire du Coeur — Publications of 
1862 — Unfavourable Reception in Vienna — New 
Friends — The Ice melts — A Complete Success 
— Personal Popularity — Birthday Gift — Asks Advice 
— Leaves the Sing-Akademic — Schumann Four-hand 

ix 



Contents 



Variations — Publications of 1863 — New Works of 1864 
— Impudent Purse — Organ Fugue and Folk-songs — 
'"Volks-Kinderlieder " — Another Concert Tour — 
"Arrived" at Last — The Magelone Lieder — Piano 
Quintet — Switzerland again — Death of Frau Brahms — 
Brahm's " Bride " — Publications of 1866 — New Triumphs 
— Brahms on a Pleasure Trip — Brahms' Beard — Gratz — 
Important Event — "German Requiem" — Great En- 
thusiasm — Opening Chorus and Second Number — 
Remaining Numbers — Brahms' Gathering — Later Perfor- 
mances — Inspiration — Strong Personality — Publications 
of 1868— Full Fruition (1869-1897) — Works of 1869— 
'' Liebeslieder Waltzes" — Hungarian Dances — 
" Rhapsodie " — Pianoforte Concerto succeeds in Vienna 
— New Masterpieces — " Triumphlied " — " ^Esthetic 
Women " — Publications of 187 1 — Gesellschaft der Musik- 
freunde — Still Delicate-looking — Works of 1873 — " Haydn 
Variations" — Later Successes of " Triumphlied " — First 
Decoration — Works of 1874 — " Requiem " and " Ring " 
— Last Gesellschaft Concerts — Public Ceremony — Ziegel- 
hausen — Popular with Children — Students' Prank — 
Aristocratic Friends — Sassnitz — First Symphony — Works 
of 1875 and 1876 — Doctor of Music — Brahms' Thesis 
— Brahms in England — "Second Symphony" — First 
Italian Journey — Doctor of Philosophy — Violin Concerto 
and Sonata — Motets and Piano Pieces — Schumann 
Denkmal — Violin Sonata and Rhapsodies — Called to 
London—" Chorale-vorspiel " — Nanie Keller — "Third 
Symphony " — Concerto, Songs and Trio — " (Quintet " 
and " Gesang der Parzen " — Brahms Concert at Olden- 
burg — Many Vocal Works — "Fourth Symphony" 
— Honours — Thun— Fondness for Coffee — Visits and 
Visitors — Letters — A Good Word for Wagner — The Dog 
"Argos" — Double Concerto — Martucci — Rossini — Intense 
Patriot — More Honours — Brahms as a Nurse — Reverence 
for Masters of Art — Loved the Italians — Musical Centre 
of Vienna — Last Works — The Last Italian Journey — 
" Fest- und Gedenkspriiche " — Meiningen and Miihlfeld 
— Royal Friends — Last Swiss Trip — Madame Schumann's 
Death — " Only a Commonplace Jaundice" — Last Public 
Appearance — Failing Health — Death — His Estate — His 
Heirs — Statue and Museum .... 



Contents 



BRAHMS : THE MAN 

PAGE 

Appearance and Health — Walking and Mountain Climb - 
ing — Appetite and Unconventionality — Powerful 
Personality — A Gungl March — Spectacles — As a Singer 
and Critic — A Genial Friend — Indifferent to Criticism — 
His Father's Brusqueness — Disliked Emotional Display — 
Goetz's "Treasure" — Music for the Theatre — Some 
Bright Criticisms — Brahms and Rubinstein — Unfortunate 
Composers — Raff — His Broad Sympathies — Profound 
Scholarship — Kindliness to Servants — Modest and Tact- 
ful — The Tonkiinstlerverein — Gispy Bands — Sixtieth 
Birthday Celebration — " Lion-hunter " — Incident at Gratz 
— Summing up — Letter-writing — Leeds Festival — Auto- 
graph Hunters — Devotion to Children — Portraits and a 
Subterfuge — Amateur Portraits ; and Mirrors — Admirer 
of Johann Strauss — Cheerful Disposition — Not Intimate 
with Family — "A Bottle of Bach" — Haydn and 
Beethoven — Hanslick's Critiques — Brahms as a Teacher 
— True Modesty — Worked Slowly — "Whistle a Song " 
— Helping Young Musicians — Advice to Beginners — 
Liberties with Compositions — Manner of Composing — 
Music for the Masses — Temperance Societies — Male 
Choruses and Brass Bands — Too much Piano — Singing 
in the Schools — Concerning Marriage — Unmarried — 
" Barbarian " — Fond of the Theatre — Theories concerning 
Opera — Operatic Possibilities — "Kiinig Hirsch" — 
" Konig Hirsch" Defunct — Marriage and Opera — As a 
Wagnerite — Wagner as a Brahmsite — Praise of Wagner 
— Attitude towards Wagner — Mozart and Verdi — Goetz's 
Opera ....... o? 

BRAHMS: THE MUSICIAN 

His Versatility — Exponent of Absolute Music — Much 
in Common with Browning — Thoroughly Modern — 
Early Works Romantic in Tendency — Master of Detail 
— As a Pianist — His Playing in 1880 — Asa Conductor — 
Last Great Classical Composer — Climax of Modern 



Contents 



PAGE 



Musical Thought — Spitta's Estimate — Repeated Hearing 
Necessary — No Concessions — Sense of Rhythm — 
Characteristics of Symphonies — Works for Piano — Songs 
— Not an Imitator — Authors of His Songs — Great Number 
of Songs — Best known Songs — Choral Works — Chamber 
Music — No Ground for Comparison with Wagner — Final 
Rating — Tschaikowsky not a Brahmsite — But liked 
Brahms — Brahms' Attitude toward Tschaikowsky — 
Dvorak's Gratitude — Growth in Popularity — Anti- 
Brahmsite Verdict — J.F. Runciman — H. T. Finck — Con- 
sistently Painstaking — Musical Logician — No Appeal to 
the Popular Mind — Educate Audiences up to Brahms 
— Uncompromisingly Classical — Details of Treatment — 
Not the Greatest Musician — Brahms and Other Com- 
posers — Brahms and his Contemporaries — Brahms as 
Colourist — His Chief Musical Sin — The Symphonies — 
The Choral Works — Chamber Music, Concertos and 
Sonatas — Pianoforte Works — Songs — Compositions too 
Difficult — Summing up — Future of Music . 119 

APPENDIX A 

List of Compositions ....■• I49 

APPENDIX B 

Bibliography . • • ■ ... 173 

Index . . • ■ ^77 



List of Illustrations 



PAGE 



Johannes Brahms {reproduced by permission 
of the Proprietors of '■^ Harmonie^^ from the 
Original Photograph in the possession of the 
Herrn Hofphotogr. C. Brasch of Berlin). 
Photogravure. Frontispiece 

Brahms' Birthplace {reproduced by permission 

of tJie Proprietors of ^^ Harmonie") . facing 4 

Brahms at the Age of 18 {from a Portrait 

by If eft) .... facing 18 

Johannes Brahms {from a Photograph by 

Marie Fellinger) . . . facing 66 

Facsimile of Handwriting . . facing 92 

Silhouette of Brahms {reproduced by per- 
mission of the Proprietors of '■'■ Hannonie^^ 
after a Drawi7i^ from the book on R. Lechner 
by Wilh. Muller) . . . .118 

Facsimile of the Score of the " Weigenlied" 

facitig 136-7 



XIll 



BRAHMS 

Biographical 

1833-1854 

Johannes Brahms ' was born on Tuesday, May 7, 

1833, in the city of Hamburg — the birthplace also of 

Mendelssohn — the first of the two sons of 

Johann Jacob Brahms. Kalbeck states that Date of 

the sister, Elizabeth, was the eldest, Johannes Birth 

being the second child ; at any rate Fritz was 

the youngest. Johannes was baptized on May 26 in 

St Michael's Church. 

Johann Brahms was himself a fine musician, and 
played the double-bass for a time at the Karl-Schultze 
Theatre, and later in the Stadt-Theatre or- 
chestra. He had filled the office of Meister His 
der Stadtmusik (Municipal Musical Director) Father 
in his native town of Heide, in Schleswick- 
Holstein, where he was born June i, 1806, and had 
come to Hamburg to try his fortune in the orchestra 

' The family name seems to have been spelled originally 
Brahmst ; in fact, Johannes' name appeared in that form upon 
a concert programme in 1849. 

A I 



Brah 



ms 



where Handel had once played second violin. His 
father (Johann's) was opposed to a musical career for 
his son, so the boy used to steal away once a week and 
take lessons of the town musician, in this way learning 
to play on the viola, violin, 'cello, flute and horn. The 
father was much scandalised upon one occasion to see 
Johann playing the viola at a dance in a neighbouring 
village. This event seemed to clear the atmosphere 
somewhat, and after that the opposition to a musical 
career gradually vanished. In 1826 Johann removed 
to Hamburg. In addition to his duties in the theatres 
above-mentioned, he was also contra-bassist in the 
Philharmonic Concerts, and was connected for many 
years, until it disbanded in 1867, as a horn player with 
the Hamburg Biirgerwehr (city militia). He lived the 
usual life of an orchestral musician, picking up odd jobs 
wherever he could find them, never overpaid, and often 
underfed. He was considered in the '40's one of the 
best contra-bassists in Hamburg, and a thorough artist. 

His wife, Johannes' mother, was a native of Hamburg 
(born 1789), Johanna Henrika Christine Nissen by name, 
a woman of affectionate, noble character, 
His who, it will be seen, was seventeen years 

Mother older than her husband. She was the 
daughter of Peter Radeloff Nissen, and 
with her sister, Christina Frederika, kept a store for 
the sale of Holland goods and notions, and took in 
lady lodgers. Johanna's special work was to attend to 
the wants of the lodgers, while her sister kept the shop. 



Biographical 



but their spare moments were generally spent together 
in the shop. She was not sturdy, but, on the contrary, 
delicate from childhood. She and Herr Brahms were 
married on June 9, 1830, and Frau Brahms moved from 
her home on the Ulrikusstrasse to their first residence in 
the Backerbreitergang, where their first child, Elizabeth 
Wilhelmine Louise, was born. This event made larger 
quarters necessary, and they removed to the Anselar 
Platz, back of the Specksgang Towers, an interesting, 
old-fashioned building, where Johannes was born in a 
room on the first floor. 

Johann Brahms was a versatile musician, but his 
circumstances were of the humblest, so that in summer- 
time, when the theatres were closed, he 
formed one of a sextet who played in a Father's 
summer garden, " passing the hat " for Circutn- 
their compensation. As a boy, Johannes stances 

arranged for them marches and other Poor 

popular music, and even tried his hand at 
original compositions. 

His education was necessarily somewhat limited 
owing to the straitened circumstances of 
the family, though he was sent at the age Education 
of six to the school of Heinrich Friedrich 
Boss, not far from the Brahms' residence in the 
Dammthorwall. 

The family had hitherto led a rather roving existence, 
each new arrival making larger quarters imperative, so 
that when Fritz Friedrich came, on March 26, 1S35, 

3 



Brahms 

it became necessary to seek a new home, which 

was found with the Detmerings (Frau 
Changes Brahms' sister was now Frau Detmering) 
of in the Ulrikusstrasse. This arrangement 

Residence lasted for some time, until the Brahms family 

removed to the Dammthorwall, and later to 
No. 74 Fuhlentwiete, where they finally settled. 

In 1847 he attended a good Biirgerschule (citizen's 
or public school), and in 1848 a better, that of Herr 
Hoffmann. 

When he was eight years old his father requested 
the teachers to be easy with him because of the time 

that he must take for his musical studies. 
Persecu- On the contrary, they made his work harder, 
tions and held him up to the ridicule of his 

schoolmates. 
Brahms' boyhood days passed uneventfully. He grew 
up with his brother Fritz and sister Elise amid the 

poorest surroundings. Fritz turned to music 
His (the Neue Zeitschrift mentions his successful 

Brother debut at Hamburg in January 1864), was a 
and Sister piano teacher in Hamburg, lived for many 

years in Caracas, and died at an early age 
in Hamburg of a disease of the brain. Elise married 
a watchmaker, much to Johannes' disappointment, and 
has also been dead some time. 

Like his sister (who retained the trouble all through 
life), Johannes was subject, until early manhood, to 
nervous headaches that troubled him sometimes for 

4 




UKAHMS' lilRTllPI.ACE 



To /ace page 4 



Biographical 



days at a time ; otherwise he was all his life free from 
sickness. When he was ten years old he 
met with a severe accident on the way to Youthful 
school. A drosky, coming rapidly along Adventure 
the street, knocked him down, and a 
wheel passed over his chest. He was six weeks re- 
covering from the effects of this accident. 

The courts and alleys of the poor quarter in which 
he lived were always resounding with the songs of 
children, in which he joined heartily, with 
his high soprano voice. He was a playful, Normal 
cheerful boy, healthy and normal, without Child 

a trace of the aberrations which so often 
characterise the childhood of genius. 

The rooms of the family were dark and damp, and 
the fare must at times have been very 
meagre, for Brahms on one occasion said Home 

to his sister, " Please don't pour so much Life 

water into the soup ; I would rather give 
you a little more money." (There is reason to believe 
that their fortunes improved later.) However, theirs 
was a happy lot, with a kind father and devoted mother, 
who is described by one of Brahms' Diisseldorf friends 
as " His dear, old mother, whose kindness of heart was 
only equalled by her simple manners. Her Johannes 
was always the inexhaustible subject of conversation." As 
a boy, Johannes worked and studied with his father, and 
used to learn lessons from books with his mother, and 
play " four-hands " with her at the piano "just for fun." 

5 



Brah 



ms 



There was never any doubt as to his becoming a 
musician. From early childhood he learned everything 
his father could teach him, read everything 
First he could lay hands on, practised with un- 

Music deviating enthusiasm, and filled reams of 

Study paper with exercises and variations. The 

soul of the child went out in music. He 
played scales long before he knew the notes, and great 
was his joy when at the age of six he discovered the 
possibility of making a melody visible by placing black 
dots on lines at different intervals, inventing a system 
of notation of his own before he had been made 
acquainted with the method which the musical world 
had been using for some centuries. Not long after this, 
while still in his seventh year, he was placed under the 
instruction of Otto Cossell (1813-1865), his first piano- 
forte teacher, who was very well satisfied with him as 
a piano pupil, but lamented the fact that he wasted so 
much time at his "everlasting composing." (It had 
been his father's desire that Johannes might be an 
orchestral musician like himself, but the child's tastes 
turned so strongly toward the piano that the father 
wisely gave in.) 

When Johannes was in his tenth year he had made 

such remarkable progress that Cossell 

Change of thought best to secure a more advanced 

Teachers instructor, so he was put under the care of 

Eduard Marxsen (Cossell's own teacher), 

the Royal Music Director at Altona, who took him un- 

6 



Biographical 



willingly at first, but with whom he remained for a 
number of years. Marxsen was at once attracted by 
the rare keenness of Brahms' intellect. His study in- 
cluded pianoforte and composition, in both of which 
branches he early developed marked ability. It was 
to Marxsen that Brahms owed the inspiration to become 
a composer, also his great improvement as a pianist. 
Before he really knew how to score thoroughly, he 
used to practise putting long pieces from single parts 
into full score, but under Marxsen theoretical study 
was carried on systematically. 

In early youth the boy Johannes began to collect 
a library. Money was not plentiful, so he bought many 
of his books from the second-hand dealers 
who frequent the bridges at Hamburg, and Fond of 
occasionally ran across some remarkable old Books 

works in this way — among others a copy of 
Mattheson's Vollkommener Kapellmeister. 

As a child he was passionately fond of tin soldiers, 
and could scarcely cease playing with them 
even when he was grown to young man- Tin 

hood. At twenty-eight he still kept them Soldiers 
locked up in his desk, unable to part 
with them. 

When he was fourteen years of age Johannes made 
his debut as a pianist (some say against his teacher's 
will), and was greeted with great applause. He early 
showed a love for the folk-songs of his fatherland, 
which he used as themes for many remarkable varia- 

7 



Brah 



ms 



tions — a musical form, by the way, which Brahms by 

his masterly treatment rescued from the 
First disrepute into which it had fallen. In his 

Appear- first published work, the Pianoforte Sonata 
ance (Op. i), he uses an old folk-song, "Ver- 

stohlen geht der Mond auf," as the basis of 
the slow movement. 

The programme of the first concert included : — 

" Adagio and Rondo " (from a Concerto) 

Rosenhain. 
Pro- " Fzutsisie on m//iam Te//" Dohler. 

gramme " Serenade," for left hand . Marxsen. 

"6tude" .... Herz. 

"Fugue" .... J.S.Bach. 
and his own "Variations on a Volkslied." 

A speculative impresario at this time was desirous 
of arranging a concert tour for the boy Brahms, but his 

teacher protested with all his power, and 
Further fortunately succeeded in preventing the 
Concerts threatened misfortune. Two more concerts 

within a few months completed his public 
appearances during this period ; then he went back to 
work, devoting his time more especially to the study 
of composition. 

It was not until five years later, in 1853, 
The First that he for the first time left Hamburg and 
Tour undertook a tour with Eduard Remenyi, the 

Hungarian gipsy violinist, for the purpose of 
introducing himself and his works. Remenyi had pre- 

8 



Biographical 



viously met Brahms in Hamburg, where the young 
pianist had accompanied him with great force and fire 
in some of the now well-known Hungarian Dances. 

These two, Brahms and Remenyi, died within about 
a year of each other, Remenyi dropping dead on the 
stage of a vaudeville theatre in San Francisco 
immediately after finishing a solo. He had Remenyi 
always been proud of the part he had played 
in bringing Brahms before the public, and never tired 
of talking about him, considering him as without a 
rival — the culminating fiower of modern music. 

At twenty the young genius had already suffered 
much and gone through hard times. He had picked 
up a living by arranging marches and dances 
for brass bands, or playing dance music, or Early 

even occasionally acting as accompanist in Privations 
a cafi-chantant. "The best songs came 
into my head while brushing my shoes before dawn," 
said he, and already he jealously reserved a part of 
each day for composition, always happy, no matter 
what his hardships, when he could pour out his soul 
in music. He always did as well as he could even 
the most distasteful labour, so that he learned much in 
the school of adversity, and his character 
ripened early. First 

He was now a master of his instrument. Success as 
making no pretence of virtuosity, but play- Pianist 
ing with true musical feeling and insight. 
He found at first little sympathy as a composer and 

9 



Brah 



ms 



but moderate success as pianist, but this tour brought 
Brahms to the notice of Schumann, and so resulted in 
making his fortune. 

At Gottingen they gave a concert in which the young 
pianist made a deep impression upon the musicians 
present. He and Remenyi were to play 
Kreutzer the Kreutzer Sonata (Beethoven), but at 
Sonata the last moment it was discovered that the 

piano was half a tone too low. It was too 
late to send for a tuner, and to lower the violin would 
ruin the efifect, so Brahms volunteered to transpose the 
piano part (from A to B flat), to which Remenyi, with 
many misgivings, consented; consequently Brahms 
played the entire sonata from memory, without a re- 
hearsal, half a tone higher than it was written. This 
gives some idea of his thorough preparation and 
prodigious memory. In all his concert tours he never 
carried any music with him. Bach and Beethoven he 
had memorised almost entire, as well as a number of 
modern pieces. 

When Marxsen heard of this episode — which was 

remarkable chiefly because of the per- 

His former's youth and inexperience — he ex- 

Thorough hibited little surprise, for Brahms had for 

Training years been accustomed to transpose great 

pieces at sight into any key. 

As soon as the concert was over, Joachim, who had 
witnessed the feat, came forward and congratulated the 
performers, and off'ered to give them letters to Liszt at 



Biographical 



Weimar and to Count Platen, the Hofintendant at 
Hanover, and, after their return, to Schu- 
mann at Diisseldorf. The offer was gladly Meeting 
accepted, and, armed with the two precious Joachim 
letters, they set out for Hanover. Joachim 
wrote at this time to his friend, Ehrlich : " Brahms 
has an altogether exceptional talent for composition, 
a gift which is further enhanced by the unaffected 
modesty of his character. His playing, too, gives 
every presage of a great artistic career, full of fire and 
energy, yet, if I may say so, inevitable in its precision 
and certainty of touch. In brief, he is the most con- 
siderable musician of his age that I have ever met." 

At Hanover they gave a most successful concert, the 
King and many members of his Court being present, 
and everything pointed toward a most pro- 
pitious stay, when a sudden blow upset all Hanover 
their plans. A second concert had been and 

planned, when the police intervened, and Politics 
not only forbade the concert, but ordered 
them out of the city, giving them passports to Weimar. 
The reason for this extraordinary behaviour lay in the 
fact that Remenyi's brother had been active in the 
revolt of '48, and it was suspected that Eduard had 
also had a hand in it, a suspicion which proved to be 
founded upon fact. 

There was nothing left to do but to go to Weimar, 
leaving behind them all their bright prospects. At 
Weimar a successful concert was given in June 

II 



Brah 



ms 



1853, the programme including Brahms' E flat minor 

"Scherzo," which greatly attracted Liszt, 
Meeting who was in the audience. The next day 
Liszt Brahms met Liszt at his residence in the 

Altenburg. The meeting was brought about 
by Remenyi. Brahms was very nervous when brought 
face to face with the great master, and when asked to 
play declined, although pressed to do so by both Liszt 
and Remenyi. There were present on that occasion 
also Raff, Pruckner, Karl Klindworth, and our own 
William Mason. Finally Liszt picked up the manu- 
script of the E flat minor "Scherzo" (Op. 4), (which 
Mason says was so illegible that, if he had had occasion 
to study it, he would have been obliged first to make a 
copy of it) and, despite its illegibility, read it so mar- 
vellously that Brahms was amazed and delighted. 
Raff thought certain parts suggested Chopin's B minor 
Scherzo, but Brahms replied that he had never seen 
nor heard any of Chopin's compositions. (This was 
half a century ago, hence is not so remarkable as it 
may seem.) 

A little later, Liszt, by request, played his recently- 
composed B minor Sonata, of which he was very fond. 

When he came to a very expressive move- 
Unfor- ment, in which he expected the sympathetic 

tunate attention of his listeners, he looked around 

Episode to see the efiFect on Brahms (who was 

physically exhausted from much travel) and 
found him dozing. Liszt played the Sonata to the end, 



Biographical 



then rose and left the room : Brahms left Weimar next 
morning. It is not likely that Liszt allowed this incident 
to prejudice him against Brahms — in fact, he hailed him 
as a new recruit to the " Music of the Future " — but the 
fact that Brahms was later put forward by the anti- 
Wagnerites (against his will, it is true) as their cham- 
pion, and especially that he later overcame his romantic 
tendencies to a great extent, may have influenced Liszt 
somewhat. At any rate, neither especially cultivated 
the other's acquaintance. Remenyi remained at Weimar 
for a short time after Brahms left, and the tour was 
abandoned at this point. 

It was during this visit to Liszt that Brahms lost 
the manuscript of a Violin Sonata, originally Op. 5, 
which has never been recovered. In 1872 
Wasielewski showed Dietrich a lengthy and Lost 

beautifully written manuscript of a violin Sonata 

part, which Dietrich immediately recognised 
as in Brahms' handwriting of his earlier years. The 
piano part could not be found. This must undoubtedly 
have been part of the lost Violin Sonata. 

After the Weimar incident, Brahms at once returned 
to Gottingen for the promised letter to Schumann, but 
as it was now summer he remained for 
some time with Joachim (at Gottingen) To 

attending the lectures. Late in September Diisseldorf 
he went with his precious letter to Diissel- 
dorf, Joachim having previously called Schumann's 
attention to Brahms' works. The curtailed tour had 

13 



Brahms 

so impoverished Brahms that he had to walk all the 
way from Gottingen to Diisseldorf, and it was a dusty 
and travel-worn young man that presented himself at 
Schumann's door that October morning. 

Brahms found at once that welcome and appreciation 
which were so characteristic of the Schumanns. Despite 

the difference in their ages, they soon fell 
Meets into the habit of calling each other by their 

Schumann Christian names. The Schumanns were in 

the habit of giving weekly "parlour musi- 
cales," where each person present was expected to play 
or sing for the entertainment and edification of the 
assemblage. It was at one of these gatherings that 
Brahms was introduced to the Diisseldorf musical 
circle. Naturally, much listening had made them 
somewhat sceptical as to the young debutant, but 
Brahms, by his masterly rendition of Schumann's 
"Carnival," melted their icy reserve and called forth 
enthusiastic applause from the company, while Schu- 
mann kissed him on the cheek. 

At that time Dietrich, afterwards a warm friend and 
admirer of Brahms, was also staying in Diisseldorf, and 

the two used to breakfast together at the 
Dietrich Annanasberg in the Hofgarten. During this 
month of October, these two and Schumann 
wrote a " Sonata for Violin and Piano " (which still 
exists, in manuscript, in the possession of Joachim), 
Dietrich contributing an Allegro in C minor, Schumann 
an Intermezzo in F major, Brahms — who signs himself 

14 



I 



Biographical 



^^ Johannes Kreiskr, Junior " — an Allegro {Scherzo) in 
C minor, on a theme from Dietrich's movement, and 
Schumann the Finale in A major. Joachim was to play 
at a concert in Diisseldorf on October 27, so Schumann 
wrote on the title page : — 

" In anticipation of the arrival of our beloved and 
honoured friend, Joseph Joachim, this sonata was 
written by Robert Schumann, Albert Dietrich, and 
Johannes Brahms." After reading the sonata through, 
Joachim was asked to guess the composer of each part, 
which he readily did. 

Brahms' fascinating personality here again won all 
with whom he came in contact. In a letter to Nau- 
mann, Dietrich wrote: — 

"Brahms is, as he could not indeed fail Brahms' 
to be, a splendid fellow; genius is written Person- 
on his brow and shines forth from his clear ality 

blue eyes." The young musicians were 
unanimous in their enthusiastic admiration of his 
compositions and playing. 

In November, Schumann went to Holland with 
Madame Schumann, returning December 22, and did 
not meet Brahms again until January 1854, 
at a performance of Paradise and the Peri Hanover 
in Hanover, which Brahms attended in again 

company with Joachim and Julius Otto 
Grimm, later Director at Miinster. 

Schumann's enthusiasm had found expression in the 
now famous article, " Neue Bahnen " (New Paths), 

15 



Brahms 

which appeared October 28, in the Neue Zeit- 
schrift fur Musik (No. 18 of that year), 
" Neue as follows : — 

Bahnen" "Ten years have passed away — almost 

as many as I formerly devoted to the 
publication of this paper — since I have allowed 
myself to commit my opinion to this soil, so rich 
in memories. Often, in spite of an over-strained 
productive activity, I have felt moved to do so ; many 
new and remarkable talents have made their appear- 
ance, and a fresh musical power seemed about to reveal 
itself among the many aspiring artists of the day, even 
though their compositions were known only to the few. 
I thought to follow with interest the pathwayof these elect ; 
there would, there must, after such promise, suddenly 
appear one who should utter the highest ideal expres- 
sion of his time, who should claim the Mastership by no 
gradual development, but burst upon us fully equipped, 
as Minerva sprang from the brain of Jupiter. And he 
has come, this chosen youth, over whose cradle the 
Graces and Heroes seem to have kept watch. His 
name is Johannes Brahms ; he comes from Hamburg, 
where he has been working in quiet obscurity, instructed 
by an excellent, enthusiastic teacher in the most diffi- 
cult principles of his art, and lately introduced to me by 
an honoured and well-known master. His mere out- 
ward appearance assures us that he is one of the elect. 
Seated at the piano, he disclosed wondrous regions. 
We were drawn into an enchanted circle. Then came a 

16 



Biographical 



moment of inspiration which transformed the piano into 
an orchestra of wailing and jubilant voices. There 
were sonatas, or rather veiled symphonies, songs whose 
poetry revealed itself without the aid of words, while 
throughout them all ran a vein of deep song melody ; 
several pieces of a half-demoniacal character, but of 
changing form ; then sonatas for piano and violin, 
string quartets, and each one of these creations so dif- 
ferent from the last, that they appeared to flow from 
so many separate sources. Then, like an impetuous 
torrent, he seemed to unite these streams into a foaming 
waterfall ; over the tossing waves the rainbow presently 
stretches its peaceful arch, while on the banks butter- 
flies flit to and fro, and the nightingale warbles her 
song. Whenever he bends his magic wand towards 
great works, and the powers of orchestra and chorus 
lend him their aid, still more wonderful glimpses of the 
ideal world will be revealed to us. May the Highest 
Genius help him onward ! Meanwhile another genius 
— that of modesty — seems to dwell within him. His 
comrades greet him at his first step in the world, where 
wounds may perhaps await him, but the bay and laurel 
also ; we welcome this valiant warrior." 

The first result of this article was an invitation 
to play some of his compositions at the 
Gewandhaus in Leipsic; accordingly, Gewand- 
on December 17, he played his "First haus 

Sonata" and " E flat minor Scherzo." At 
once he found himself the centre of a bitter controversy. 
B 17 



Brahms 

On the one hand, "Schumann adores him," and 
"Joachim will not allow him (Brahms) to leave him," 
so that they had gone together to Hanover 
Centre of in November for a short stay. On the 
Contra- other hand, some of the critics assailed him 
versy furiously. " Brahms will never become a 

star of the first magnitude," and "We wish 
him a speedy deliverance from his over-enthusiastic 
patrons " — such were some of the choice critiques that 
this appearance brought forth. 

However, the most important result of the concert 

was the publication of his works by the houses of 

Breitkopf & Hartel and Bartholf Senfif. A 

" Lohen- later event of less importance than interest 

grin"" was Brahms' first hearing of "Lohengrin" 

at Leipsic on January 7, 1854. 

The works that were brought out at this time were by 

Breitkopf & Hartel :— 

Op. I, "Sonata in C" (dedicated to 
First Joachim). 

Works Op. 2, "Sonata in F sharp minor (dedi- 
cated to Clara Schumann). 
Op. 3, "Six Songs" (dedicated to Bettina von 

Arnim), (Goethe's Bettina). 
Op. 4, "Scherzo in E flat minor" (dedicated to 

Ernest Ferdinand Wenzel). 
Op. 7, " Six Songs " (dedicated to Albert Diet- 
rich). 
Op. 9, "Variations (16 in number) on a 
18 




liKAIlMS Al' THK AGE OF l8 



To/aci- />a.ge iS 



Biographical 



theme by Robert Schumann " (dedicated to 
Clara Schumann). 
By Bartholf Senff:— 

Op. 5, "Sonata in F minor" (dedicated to the 

Countess Ida von Hohenthal, nee Countess von 

Scherr-Thoss). 

Op. 6, " Six Songs " (dedicated to Louisa and 

Minna Japha). 

The Andante espressivo of the Sonata (Op. 5), Third 

bears the following poetical heading : — Sonata 

" Der Abend dammert, das Mondlicht scheint, 
Da sind zwei Himmel in Liebe vereint 
Und halten sich selig umfangen." — Siernau. 

(The twilight gathers, the moonlight shines, 
While heaven with earth in love combines 
And holds her in blessed embrace.) 

The Intermezzo (Riickblick) is a return to the theme 
of the preceding Andante, forming, in contrast to the 
intervening Scherzo, a most beautiful and effective bit of 
writing. 

The theme for Op. 9 was taken from Schumann's 
" Bunte Blatter " (Op. 99). In this composition Brahms 
already fixed the character of the Variation- 
form, which he henceforth adopted, in which Variahon- 
he seeks after an entirely new creation, in form 

each variation, while retaining the harmony 
of the theme. Beethoven and Schumann had both 
made use of the same principle in their later variation- 
cycles. 

19 



Brahms 

The sensation which Schumann's article created was 
profound, and Brahms at once became the object of 
general attention and much sceptical oppo- 
Sccptics sition. Schumann was not always so for- 
tunate in his prophecies as in this case ; 
hence his very enthusiasm was the cause of distrust 
in some quarters. Von Biilow, who afterward became 
one of the staunchest supporters of Brahms (his change 
from Wagner to Brahms was not a desertion of his 
colours, but simply a mental phenomenon — he and 
Wagner really had nothing in common), wrote to Liszt : 
"Mozart-Brahms or Schumann-Brahms " (he had been 
compared to both composers) " does not in the least 
disturb the tranquillity of my slumbers. It is fifteen 
years since Schumann spoke similarly of the ' genius ' 
of W. Sterndale Bennett." This was the attitude of 
many, and the opposition thus aroused at first proved a 
real obstacle in his way, but the " Neue Bahnen " eventu- 
ally contributed much to his success. 

Schumann had built great hopes on Brahms : there is 
no doubt that he had felt that Brahms would consum- 
mate his (Schumann's) work. As one writer 
Schumanfi' s hdi?, put it: "Johannes Brahms was the 
Friendship spiritual son of Robert Schumann " ; but 
he was a son with a mind of his own. Un- 
fortunately, the warm friendship which sprang up between 
the two was cut short by Schumann's untimely death. 
Less than a year after their first meeting — to be more 
accurate, it was just five months — appeared the first 



Biographical 



signs of Schumann's affliction. " Why do you play so 
fast, dear Johannes ? " impatiently cried Schumann one 
day; "I beg of you, be moderate." Brahms turned 
quickly, and one glance told him that Schumann was a 
sick man. His reply was a tear and a hand-clasp. Soon 
more serious signs of disorder appeared, and then — the 
catastrophe. 

As soon as Brahms heard of Schumann's collapse he 
hurried at once to Diisseldorf, remaining almost con- 
stantly with Madame Schumann during the 
master's illness ; and before her removal to Aid to 

Berlin, to her mother's, he spent some time Madame 
arranging Schumann's library. Infact, Schu- Schumann 
mann's affairs in general had gotten into bad 
shape, and Brahms quietly set to work and straightened 
them out, proving himself ready, decisive and systematic 
in business affairs, delicate, tactful and good-natured. 

Brahms frequently visited the invalid at Endenich, 
near Bonn, where for two years Schumann was confined 
in the private asylum of Dr Richarz, and 
would play for him. In his lucid intervals Visits to 
he used to write Brahms pathetic letters, Endenich 
thanking him for the pleasure and comfort 
derived from his music. These visits always soothed 
Schumann, whose condition for some time was regarded 
as very hopeful; but the improvement was only tem- 
porary. 

At twenty, Brahms was small and slight. Dietrich 



Brah 



ms 



describes him as "Youthful, almost boyish-looking, 
with high-pitched voice and long, fair hair, 
Personal making on the whole a most attractive im- 
Appear- pression. Those who knew him best were 
ance particularly struck by the characteristic 

energy of his mouth and the serious 
depths in his blue eyes." 

He was especially at home among the Diisseldorf 
artists and their families — Sohn and Gude and Schirner 
and Lessing — also at the house of the blind 
Character- Fraulein Leser (an intimate friend of the 
istics Schumanns), where many musical gather- 

ings took place. Brahms' modest and win- 
ning manner charmed all. All agree that his was a 
most fascinating personality ; he was infinitely good- 
natured, met everybody on an equality, was modest, 
never aggressive, and a good listener. He was full of 
animal spirits and, with all his slightness, of such 
vigorous physique that even the severest mental labour 
hardly seemed an exertion. If he chose, he could 
sleep soundly at any hour of day or night. He tried 
to lower his strikingly high-pitched voice by speaking 
hoarsely, giving it at times an unpleasant quality. 
Already he was lazy about letter-writing. 

With men he was lively, often exuberant, occasionally 

blunt, and full of wild freaks. He would 

Pranks run upstairs to Dietrich's room, hammer 

upon the door with both fists, and, without 

awaiting a reply, burst into the room. In an excur- 

22 



Biographical 



sion to the Grafenburg one day he pulled up some 
turnips from the fields which they were passing, cleaned 
them carefully, and offered them to the ladies as re- 
freshment. In social gatherings he entered into all 
that was going on, being one of the liveliest in the 
party. At an evening party (in Diisseldorf) his singing 
of "O versenk " and other of his songs called forth 
great applause. 

Rubinstein, who first met Brahms about a year or 
two later, did not know just what to make of him, for 
he wrote to Liszt: "I hardly know how to 
make clear the impression he made upon Rubinsteiii 
me. For the salon he is not sufficiently 
at ease {gracieux) ; for the concert room not fiery 
enough ; for the country not primitive enough ; for the 
city not cosmopolitan enough." 

When he played he bent his head down over the 
keyboard, and, when particularly excited, hummed the 
melody aloud as he played it. His playing 
was supremely artistic, powerful, and again, Manner- 
exquisitely tender, always spirited \ in fact, isms as a 
he was at this time more generally admired Pianist 
as a pianist than as a composer. Schumann 
said, " His playing and his music belong together ; 
such original tone-effects I do not remember ever to 
have heard." 

In composing he liked to think of the words of 
folk-songs, which seemed to suggest themes to his 
mind. As a rule he never spoke about works upon 

■2.\ 



Brahms 

which he was engaged, and made no plans for future 

compositions. His compositions of this 
Manner early date are already full of the most 
of Com- extraordinary and unusual combinations, 
posing though even the most striking of these 

sound inevitable and original, appearing 
everywhere quite naturally and almost naively. "Brahms 
stands almost alone in striking at once his characteristic 
keynote. From the very first there was no trace of uncer- 
tainty or of imitation. His very individuality, however, 
prevented general recognition. For years his works 
gathered dust on the shelves of his publishers ; only gradu- 
ally did they find their way into the concert room." 

The early part of 1854 was spent in correcting proof- 
sheets ; then followed a visit of several weeks to Liszt 

at Weimar, and a few concerts with Joachim 
The and Stockhausen, the singer (who became 

Period of an intimate and life-long friend of Brahms). 
Growth During these spring months Hanover was 

Brahms' headquarters ; in early summer he 
started on a vacation trip through the Black Forest, 
but was seized with an unaccountable fit of home- 
sickness and turned back at Ulm. 

In July the Neue Berliner Musikal-Zeitung printed a 
careful and discriminating review of Op. 3, and about 
the same time came two offers of positions, one from 
the Rhenish Conservatory at Cologne, the other from 
the Prince of Lippe-Detmold. He rejected the first 
because it would take too much of his time, but 

24 



Biographical 



accepted the second because it would give him ample 
leisure for study and composition. It did more than this 
in that it brought him into contact with cultivated men 
and women and greatly increased his experience in the 
handling of choral masses. 

His duties at Detmold consisted in giving lessons 
to some members of the ducal family and directing a 
small chorus and orchestra. This work occupied the 
winter months only, and left the greater part of the 
year free. He remained here for two years, then 
resigned and went back to Hamburg, where he was 
near his parents, who still lived at the old home on 
the Fuhlentwiete. This was his residence during the 
years from 1856 to 1862. 

When Schumann died, in 1856, Brahms, with Joachim 
and Dietrich, walked behind the coffin to the grave. 
In the dark hours of her grief, Brahms was 
the energetic friend and counsellor and de- Schu- 

fender of Madame Schumann, who was mann's 
often sorely pressed and in need of a Death 

faithful adviser. In her sorrow she re- 
proached herself with not having restrained Schumann 
in his ruinous mania for hard work, and it fell largely 
upon Brahms to act as comforter. 

He regarded her as the noblest of her sex, saying 
once to a friend, "When you have written anything, 
ask yourself whether such a woman as Madame Schu- 
mann could read it with pleasure. If you doubt that, 
then cross out what you have written." Their friend- 

25 



Brah 



ms 



ship was most intimate and beautiful (Brahms loved 
her with almost filial devotion) — they always addressed 
each other by their Christian names — and in every 
way their relations were practically those of mother and 
son (Madame Schumann was thirteen years Brahms' 
senior). Through his entire life it was his habit to 
spend the three summer months near her, and in 
1880 Hanslick wrote: "None of Mme. Schumann's 
children is as young as she is. Brahms is cultivating 
a patriarchal beard with the hope of passing for her 
father." They worked for each other, and no doubt 
loved each other in a strictly platonic way. It is here, 
probably, that one must look for the real reason why 
Brahms never married. 

In May 1856 he gave a concert at Cologne, and was 
censured for including in his programme so dull a work 
as Bach's " Chromatic Fantasia." He spent 
Op. 10 the summer at Bonn, according to Deiters, 

appears who met him there. This year Breitkopf & 
Hartel published Op. 10, " Four Ballades 
for Piano" (dedicated to Julius Otto Grimm). The 
First Ballade owed its origin to the Scotch ballad, 
"Edward," from Herder's "Stimmen der Volker," and 
the others were probably inspired by similar causes. 

In December 1857 Brahms accepted two engage- 
ments at the Gewandhaus, Leipsic, and took part in 
the performance of Mendelssohn's Concerto and Beeth- 
oven's Triple Concerto. In January 1859 he played at 
the Gewandhaus his First Piano Concerto in D minor 

26 



Biographical 



(Op. 15), which was severely criticised. The audience 
listened in pure bewilderment, waiting in 
vain for the virtuoso passages. The Leipziger First 

Signalen called it a " Symphony with Piano- Piano 

forte Obligato, in which the solo part is as Concerto 
ungrateful as possible, and the orchestral 
part a series of lacerating chords." In truth, Brahms had 
turned over a new leaf in the history of the concerto- 
form, and the Leipzigers could not comprehend it. 
This concerto, which is one of the grandest of 
Brahms' youthful compositions, was originally sketched 
as a sonata for two pianos, the slow Scherzo of which 
was afterwards used as the Funeral March in the 
" German Requiem." Brahms shortly afterwards took 
the concerto to Hamburg, where it was most favourably 
received. It consists of a passionate first movement, an 
adagio and a rondo. 

The Serenade in D (Op. 11) was given in Hamburg, 
March 28, 1859, and, later in the year, the Serenade in 
A (Op. 16), in its first, unrevised form. 
The Trio for Piano, Violin and 'Cello, Serenades 
(Op. 8), was published by Breitkopf & and Trio 
Hartel in 1859, and performed the next 
year in New York by Theodore Thomas, violin ; 
Bergmann, 'cello; and William Mason, piano. It 
was revised and simplified, and republished in 
1891. 

In 1 860, after six years of absolute silence (except 
for Op. 8, which, though published in 1859, was written 

27 



Brahms 

several years before), Brahms published two new and 
splendid compositions, which did much to 
More New establish his reputation ; these were the 
Composi- Serenades referred to above, the first in D 
tions (Op. 1 1), for Full Orchestra, the second in A 

(Op. 1 6), for Small Orchestra. Completed 
about the same time as these, but published in 1861, 
were : — 

Op. 12, "Ave Maria," for Female Chorus, Orches- 
tra and Organ. 
Op. 13, "Funeral Hymn," for Mixed Chorus and 

Wind Orchestra. 
Op. 14, "Eight Songs and Romances," for Solo 

Voice with Piano accompaniment. 
Op. 15, "First Concerto in D minor," for Piano- 
forte and Orchestra. 
The years of silence had been spent in serious study, 
and these new works displayed a remarkable increase 
of artistic power and conviction, as well as 
Advance a great gain in purity of style and clearness 
over Partner oi expression. The Serenades were ambi- 
Work tious and masterly works ; the " Funeral 

Hymn," to words beginning "Nun lasst 
uns den Leib begraben " (Now let us bury the body), 
was a true forerunner of the "German Requiem." 
Besides the above-mentioned works, Brahms had also 
written a Choral Mass in canon form, which has never 
been published. 

Brahms remained in Hamburg until after the publica- 
28 



Biographical 



tion of the Serenades, in i860, then went to Winterthur, 
in Switzerland, and spent the winter near 
his friend, Kirchner, teaching, concertising Visit to 

and writing, returning north for the summer, Switzer- 
which he spent at Hamm, a suburb of Ham- land 

burg, about half an hour's ride from the city. 
In the fall he went again to Winterthur, and the suc- 
ceeding summer (1862) again to Hamm. 

In 1 86 1 were completed the "Variations on a Theme 
by Handel " (Op. 24), for Piano, and the " Marien- 
lieder " (Op. 22), for Full Chorus, both pub- 
lished in 1862. The " Handel Variations," "• Hdndel 
consisting of twenty-five variations and a Variations'^ 
fugue by way of wind-up, have been de- and^'Mari- 
scribed as a chef-d'oeuvre of modern piano enlieder" 
music. The " Marienlieder " are a number 
of old German songs relating to the worship of the 
Virgin. 

During the two summers that Brahms spent at 
Hamm he resided at the house of Frau Dr Ehzabeth 
Rosing, to whom he afterwards dedicated 
his A major Quartet (Op. 26). There was Ladies' 

a charming ladies' quartet next door who Quartet 
used to sing his " Songs for Four Voices " 
(Op. 17). Brahms had met them at a wedding where 
he was playing the organ, and asked them to practise 
his "Ave Maria," which he had just completed. They 
sang the "Songs for Four Voices " upon their concert 
tours, and notably at the great Rhenish Musical Festival 

29 



Brahms 

at Diisseldorf, to a large gathering of musicians, Brahms, 
Stockhausen and Joachim among the number. 

This quartet was the nucleus of a small Ladies' 
Choral Society which Brahms conducted during the two 
summers at Hamm, and for which he composed many 
pieces and arranged much old Italian church music. In 
the fall the rehearsals ended with a small performance 
in the Petrikirche. 

Through Kirchner's introduction, Brahms found a 
circle of warm admirers in Switzerland. In fact, ex- 
cepting Hamburg, Switzerland was probably the first 
seat of a genuine Brahms cult. But when, in the fall of 
1862, Kirchner removed to Ziirich, Winterthur lost its 
charm for Brahms, and he did not return. 

Of course there was more or less travelling during 
these years — Brahms was always a great traveller — and 
an occasional concert tour. During the 
Oldenburg winter of 1861-1862 there was a tour, in the 
course of which he played at Hanover — 
where he remained some weeks — Bremen, Oldenburg, 
— where he, Joachim and another friend were sponsors 
for Dietrich's first child. Max Hermann Carl — and 
other cities. At the Oldenburg concert a laurel wreath 
had been hung over Brahms' chair by an admirer. When 
he came upon the stage to play, Brahms quietly removed 
the wreath and laid it under the piano, upon the floor. 

During the year 1861 he arranged several Schubert 
songs for orchestra for his friend Stockhausen, and this 
year were published by Simrock : — 

30 



Biographical 



Op. 20, "Three Duets for Soprano and Alto," with 

Piano accompaniment. 
Op. 21 (for Piano) — 

No. I, "Variations (11 in number) on Original 

Theme in D." 
No. 2, "Variations (13 and Finale) on a Hun- 
garian Theme in D." (This theme is in the 
unusual seven-four rhythm). 
In June 1862 Brahms again attended the Rhenish 
Musical Festival at Diisseldorf, and went thence with 
Dietrich to Miinster-am-Stein, near Kreuz- 
nach, to be near the Schumanns, remaining Miinster- 
two weeks. They resided at the foot of the am-Stein 
Ebernberg, and worked industriously every 
morning, the afternoons and evenings being given up to 
excursions and to " making music." Brahms here com- 
posed the first two books of the " Magelonen Lieder," 
and showed Dietrich the first movement of the First 
Symphony, in somewhat different form, however, from 
that in which it eventually appeared (in 1876). He 
also presented Dietrich with a MS. copy of the Second 
Piano Sonata, very neatly written, with a dedication. 
Dietrich says of him at this time: — 
" His disposition is as amiable and cheerful as full of 
depths of seriousness. He frequently teases 
the ladies by making joking assertions in Great 

such a grave manner that Madame Schumann Teaser 

particularly takes them quite seriously, which 
gives rise to most amusing discussions, causing him 

31 



Brah 



ms 



often to be misunderstood. . . . He must be rather un- 
comfortable for ladies indulging in sentimental moods ; 
but that does not prevent his being very serious and 
quiet when it suits the occasion." 

The stay at Miinster over, there followed a long trip 
to Speyer, Carlsruhe, and other places of interest. In 
this year (1862) the Second Serenade (in A) was given 
in New York : Brahms thought this was the first per- 
formance since publication. 

In the fall of this year came another concert tour, 
beginning at Carlsruhe, where he played his Piano 
Concerto, and was recalled; then Basle, 
Oldenburg Zurich, Mannheim, Cologne and Olden- 
again burg. This tour was most successful. The 

Christmas holidays were spent at Detmold, 
the Oldenburg concert following early in January 1863. 
The night before the concert, after the rehearsal, Brahms 
played the " Handel Variations " for the members of 
the orchestra, who were delighted with it. " The fugue," 
one writes, "is perfectly fascinating." At the concert 
the Concerto and the Horn Trio (Op. 40) were received 
with enthusiasm, largely due, no doubt, to Dietrich's 
" campaign of education " and known partisanship. 

Brahms remained for a short visit with the Diet- 

richs, by whom he was very much loved and 

Affaire du honoured. Dietrich calls him " the pleas- 

Cceur antest visitor imaginable — always amiable 

and unassuming, always in good spirits." It 

was during this visit that he was very much attracted 

32 



Biographical 



by a young lady who frequented the Dietrichs' house. 
One evening he said, after she had left, " I like her ; I 
should like to marry her; such a girl could make me 
happy." 

In 1862 appeared the following works, published by 
Simrock : — 

Op. 17, "Part Songs for Female Chorus," with 
two Horns and Harp. Op. 18, "First Sextet" in 
B fiat for Strings. Op. 19, "Five Poems," 
for Solo Voice with Piano. The " Handel Publica- 
Variations " (Op. 24) and the " Marien- tions of 
lieder " (Op. 22) were brought out the 1862 

same year by Rieter- Biedermann. The 
B flat Sextet is the most significant piece of 
chamber music since the death of Beethoven. The 
"Handel Variations" are reviewed at length in 
the Allgemeijie Musikalische Zeiiung for September 9, 
1863. 

Brahms' eyes had for some time been turning 
toward Vienna as a place of residence. At length, 
when the Winterthur ties were broken, he took the 
decisive step. This may have been hastened by the 
failure of a plan to elect him Director of the Ham- 
burg Philharmonic Society ; at any rate he wrote 
to Dietrich, " I am as happy as a child at the 
thought." There seems to be some difiference of 
opinion as to the exact date of this change of resid- 
ence, but, inasmuch as the fall of the year 1862 was 
given up to the concert tour just spoken of, it can- 



Brah 



ms 



not well have been before January 1863, the date which 
Dietrich gives. However, the decision may have 
been reached early in the fall of 1862, for, on Nov- 
ember 16, Brahms played at a Hellmesberger 
concert the piano part of his G minor Quartet 
(Op. 25). There was no question as to his merit 
as a pianist, but as a composer — that was different. 
The Blatter fiir Theater- Musik uftd Kunst (November 
21, 1862) said : — 

" We do not propose to condemn Herr Brahms alto- 
gether until we have heard more of his work, but the 
present specimen will not induce the Vien- 
Unfavour- nese people to accept him as a composer. 
able Re- The first three movements are gloomy, ob- 
ception in scure, and ill-developed ; the last is simply 
Vienna an offence against the laws of style. There 
is neither precedent nor excuse for intro- 
ducing into chamber music a movement entirely con- 
ceived in the measure of a national dance, and it is much 
to be regretted that Herr Brahms should have departed 
in this matter from the example set by Beethoven and 
Schubert." 

This critique is valuable rather as a curiosity than as 
an example of serious criticism, for it is not only in- 
accurate but also unjust. But Brahms was 
New simply undergoing the same treatment as 

Friends had fallen to the lot of Vienna's other great 
adopted musical sons — Mozart, Beethoven 
and Schubert — who had been abused, underrated, and 

34 



Biographical 



allowed to starve. True, the shining lights of the Vien- 
nese musical world — Robert Volkmann, Goldmark, 
Bruckner, and Ignaz Briill — received him with open 
arms, but the critics and the public for the most part 
neither appreciated nor accepted him. 

On November 23 the Serenade in A was given at a 
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde concert, and because 
of its lighter character it scored a success. 
On November 29 the A major Quartet The Ice 
(Op. 26) was given, and was much more melts 

favourably received than the G minor ; and 
in December 1863 opposition was silenced by a mag- 
nificent performance, under Hellmesberger, of the B fiat 
Sextet. Even the Blatter said : — 

" The opening movement is a walk in spring, when 
the sky is cloudless and the flowers are blooming in the 
hedgerows. The second represents a gipsy 
encampment — dark-eyed maidens whisper- A Complete 
ing secrets, and, afar off, the subdued tinkle Success 

of the mandolin. The third is a rustic 
dance ; and the fourth — well, we suppose the fourth 
must mean the journey home." 

Needless to say, the description is entirely apocryphal, 
but the spirit of approbation instead of abuse at least is 
good to see. 

Late in 1862 Wagner established himself at Penzing, 
and he and Brahms often met on neutral ground, but 
never became intimate. The latter lived for some time 
at the Deutschen Hause in the Singer Strasse, where 

35 



Brahms 

he was the centre of an ever-widening circle of friends 
and admirers. " His quiet voice, undemon- 
Personal strative manner, kindly disposition that 
Popularity showed itself in a thousand services, upright 
honesty that never stooped even to con- 
quer," — these qualities soon won him personal popularity. 

He introduced himself as a soloist in a concert made up 
of Bach's, Beethoven's, Schumann's, and his own works, 
making his greatest impression in Schumann's 
Birthday ^^ Fantaisie" (Op. 17), and his own " Handel 
Gift Variations." After spending the winter here 

in Vienna, he returned home to spend his 
birthday with his parents. The Viennese publisher, 
Spina, made him a birthday gift of all of Schubert's 
works, a kindness which Brahms very much appreciated. 

Part of this summer was spent at Blankensee, on the 
Elbe, two hours from Hamburg, followed by a short stay 
at Carlsruhe, a farewell trip to Hamburg, then back to 
Vienna in August, to act as Chorus-master at the Sing- 
Akademie — a position which he had accepted during 
the summer. In this he was most successful, preparing 
a memorable performance of Bach's " Passion Music." 

That he had not as yet lost that "other genius ... of 
modesty," of which Schumann wrote in 1853, is attested 
by a letter which he wrote to Dietrich before entering 
upon his duties in Vienna. (Dietrich was by this time 
a successful conductor with nearly ten years' experience 
behind him.) The letter ran, in part : — 

" I should much like to ask you to give me some 
36 



Biographical 



information that will be of use to me there. At hap- 
hazard, because I do not really know what 
to ask you, and am extremely shy of making Asks 

my first attempt in this line at Vienna of all Advice 

places." He goes on to speak of Handel's 
"Alexander's Feast "and of Bach's " Christmas Oratorio," 
and asks for copies, if possible, orchestrated, with or 
without organ. 

There was a " Brahms concert " given at the Sing- 
Akademie on April 17, 1864, and early in May he 
was unanimously re-elected, but resigned in 
July, for the reason that he wanted to be Leaves 

free from even this restraint. His relations ike Sing- 
with the Akademie were entirely agreeable, Akademie 
for he wrote shortly before resigning : " Both 
Academy and orchestra give me much pleasure." For 
a time he was very undecided whether or not to remain 
in Vienna, but the superior advantages of the city on 
the Danube won the day, and he settled there for the 
remainder of his life. 

In this connection it might be well to speak of a life- 
long habit of Brahms' — that of roaming at will. He 
was in the habit of taking frequent long journeys, afoot 
or by rail, and would remain at his leisure in any town 
which might suit his fancy, or which was quiet enough 
for hard work. So that, while he always returned to 
Vienna, it was not at all certain that he was to be 
found there at any particular time. 

This year, 1863, had witnessed the triumph of 
37 



Brahms 

Brahms in Vienna after a chilling reception ; it also 
witnessed the publication of several import- 
Schuman7i ant works. Op. 23, " Variations (ten in 
Four-hand number) on a Theme by Schumann," for 
Varia- Piano, was brought out by Rieter-Bieder- 

tions mann. This work, dedicated to Julie 

Schumann, was built upon a theme taken 
from Schumann's last work, which Schumann in his 
derangement thought that the spirits of Schubert and 
Mendelssohn had brought to him. (He had jotted 
down the theme, and later, in a lucid interval, written 
some variations upon it, had been seized with another 
attack, but, as soon as he was better, had gone back 
and finished them. This composition is not to be 
found among the published works of Schumann.) ^ 

Simrock published in 1863 : — 

Op. 25, " First Quartet " in G minor, for Piano, Violin, 

Viola and 'Cello, dedicated to Baron Rein- 

Publica- hard von Dalwigk ; and Op. 26, "Second 

tions of Quartet " in A major for Piano, Violin, Viola 

1863 and 'Cello, dedicated to Frau Dr Elizabeth 

Rosing. 

In the spring of 1864 were finished the following 
works, which were published during the year: — 

Op. 27, "13th Psalm" (How long wilt Thou forget 
me, O Lord), for Three-part Female Chorus and Organ. 

' "On February 27, 1854, while Brahms visited Schumann at 
Diisseldorf, Schumann suddenly left the table to go out upon the 
Rhinebridge, without hat or overcoat, and threw himself into the 
river. Upon his desk lay this theme." — Ehlert, /rw// the " Tone- 
World:' 

38 



Biographical 



This is really sacred music : Brahms may have had 
in mind when he wrote it some idea of a church 
performance. (All previous biographers give the title 
of this work as the 23rd Psalm, but the 
words are certainly those of the 13th.) Op. New 

28, " Four Duets for Alto and Baritone," Works of 
with Piano accompaniment, dedicated to 1864 

Madame Amalie Joachim. Op. 29, "Two 
Motets " for Five-part Chorus, a capella^ in the poly- 
phonic style of Bach. Op. 30, "Sacred Song" of Paul 
Flemming ("Lass dich nur nichts dauern") for Four- 
part Mixed Chorus with Organ or Piano accompaniment. 
In this composition Brahms works out a double-canon 
in the voice parts to an independent accompaniment. 
Op. 31, "Three Quartets for Solo Voices," with Piano. 
Op. 32, "Nine Songs " (words by Aug. von Platen and 
G. F. Daumer), for Solo Voice and Piano. 

The next five years were to a great extent years of 
wandering. Fortune was not as yet beaming with any 
alluring warmth upon Brahms, so that he 
wrote, in declining an invitation to visit hnpudent 
North Germany, " My purse has always an Purse 

impudent word to say." But walking at 
least was cheap, and there were occasional concert tours 
to take him farther afield, so that some of his biographers 
have assumed that he had temporarily given up his 
residence in Vienna ; but such was not the case. 

In 1864 appeared one of Brahms' two compositions 
for the organ, the Fugue in C flat, published without 

39 



Brah 



ms 



Opus number in No. 29 of the Aligefneine Miisikalische 
Zeitung as a Musical Supplement. This fugue is per- 
haps the most perfect example of Brahms' 
Organ skill in uniting old-school severity with the 

Fugue and greatest warmth of sentiment. Rieter- 
Folk-songs Biedermann also brought out a collection 
of fourteen "German Folk-songs," arranged 
for Four-part Chorus for the Sing-Akademie, to whom 
it was dedicated. 

In passing, it might be well to refer to another 
similar work of Brahms', the " Volks-Kinderlieder " 
(Folk-songs for Children), traditional tunes, 
" Volks- dedicated to the children of Robert and 
Kinder- Clara Schumann, and published (without 
lieder" the name of the author) by Rieter-Bieder- 
mann in 1858. There are fourteen of them, 
and they have become widely popular. 

In March 1865 the "A major Quartet" was given 
at Leipsic, with Madame Schumann at the piano and 
David to lead the strings. This year Brahms 
Another paid a long visit to Kirchner at Ziirich, 
Concert during which time he gave some concerts. 
Tour notably one at Winterthur, in which he was 

assisted by Kirchner and Fr. Hegar, the 
Zurich violinist, followed in the fall by a triumphant 
concert tour through Mannheim, Cologne (where he 
conducted the "D major Serenade"), Carlsruhe (where 
he played sonatas with Joachim), and Oldenburg. 

That Brahms had really "arrived" is evident from 
40 



Biographical 



the increasing respect with which the critics regarded 
him. The Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung 
(published at Charlottenburg), the leading '■'Arrived^' 
German musical paper, from 1863 on treated at Last 
him with a respect that no other con- 
temporary composer either merited or received. 

The year 1865 witnessed the publication of the first 
two parts of the Romances from Tieck's fairy tale, Die 
Schone Magelone (Op. 11), (the other three 
parts appearing in 1868). These poems, The 

fifteen in number, called for a more ex- Magelone 
tended setting than the usual lied or song, Lieder 

but Brahms so rose to the occasion that 
this work marks the perfection of his lyric art. It is 
dedicated to Julius Stockhausen, the singer, and Brahms' 
intimate friend. 

In this year appeared also the "Quintet" (Op. 34), 
for Piano, Two Violins, Viola and 'Cello, dedicated to 
H.R. H. Princess Anne of Hesse, and pub- 
lished by Rieter-Biedermann. This com- Piano 
position was finished before Brahms came Quintet 
to Vienna in 1863, but in the form of a 
String Quintet (two 'Celli) ; it was afterwards arranged 
as a "Sonata for two Pianos," in which 
form it was published in 1872 as Op. 34, Switzer- 
No. 2. land 

In October 1866 there was a short tour again 

with Joachim through German Switzerland, 
touching at SchafThausen, Winterthur, Zurich, among 

41 



Brahms 

other places, and they were everywhere greeted by 
enthusiastic audiences. The tour ended in November 
and Brahms returned to Vienna. 

Brahms suffered a severe blow earUer in the year in 
the death of his mother at an advanced age. This 
event inspired his masterpiece, the " German 
Death of Requiem," which was begun and carried far 
Frau along toward completion this summer in 

Brahms Switzerland. (One writer expresses the 
opinion that the " Requiem " was inspired 
by the events of the Austro-Prussian War (1866), but 
the fact that Brahms was probably at work on it before 
the war had begun, and that no other authority mentions 
this as the source of inspiration — to say nothing of the 
fact that he was a North German who never lost his 
patriotism, and would have been more likely to write 
a song of triumph over the success of Prussia — seems 
to establish the former as the unquestionable first 
cause). Fuller Maitland suggests that the work 
was probably the outcome of both events, the later 
choruses being more especially influenced by his 
mother's death. 

In the fall of this year (1866), in company with 
Madame and Marie Schumann, he paid a visit to 
Oldenburg. Dietrich, to whom we are 
Brahms' indebted for so many details about the 
'^ Bride'' personality of Brahms, says of this visit, 
" The old humour and delight in teasing 
are still there. Even the breakfast-hour was interest- 

42 



Biographical 



ing, and, thanks to Brahms' high spirits, merry." It 
was for years his habit in his letters to Dietrich to 
refer to the latter's Httle daughter, Clara, as his " bride," 
and the son, Max, as his " brother-in-law." 

In the year 1866 were published Op. 36, "Second 
Sextet," for Strings; and Op. 38, "Sonata for Piano 
and Violoncello" in E minor, dedicated 
to Dr Josef Gausbacher. Op. 35, " Studies Publica- 
for Pianoforte (Variations, twenty-eight in tions of 
number, on a Theme by Paganini)." Op. 1866 

37, "Three Sacred Choruses" (to Latin 
words), for Female Voices, a capella. These choruses 
are most austere in style, suggesting Palestrina's manner. 
Op. 44, " Twelve Songs and Romances " for Female 
Chorus, a capella (Piano ad libitum). 

In January 1867 Hellmesberger led the first per- 
formance of the G major Sextet (Op. 36), which was 
received with delight. In March, Brahms 
gave a recital at which the recently-com- Neiv 

pleted "Paganini Variations" (Op. 35) were Triumphs 
enthusiastically received. As an encore he 
played the Finale from Beethoven's "Third Rasoum- 
offsky Quartet." In April there was a second recital, 
in which, as in the former, he played but few of his 
own works, as usual. Later in April there were two 
concerts at Pesth ; and early in the summer appeared 
"Five Songs for Four-part Male Chorus," a capella 
(Op. 41), (usually known as the ^^ Soldatenlieder"). Later 
in the year appeared Op. 39, " Four-hand Piano 

43 



Brah 



ms 



Waltzes " (sixteen in all), dedicated to Dr Eduard Hans- 
lick, the great Viennese critic and friend of Brahms. 

Brahms' residence was now at No. 6 Post Strasse, 
from which place he set out, late in the spring, on a 
short pleasure trip with his father to Upper 
Brahms Austria, through Styria and Salzburg, then 
on a to Hamburg. Brahms' enjoyment of this 

Pleasure trip can be imagined when we are told 
Trip that hitherto his father had never seen a 

mountain, and had hardly ever left Ham- 
burg. Brahms spent the summer at Oldenburg and 
Ziirich, visiting friends, and returned again to Hamburg 
for a short visit before going back to Vienna. 

It was during this summer that he first grew a beard 
— an accession with which he shortly dispensed. How- 
ever, he again grew one about 1881, giving 
Brahms' as his reason, " A clean-shaven man is 
Beard taken for an actor or a priest." He never 

again removed it ; in fact he took a certain 
naive pleasure in his personal appearance, referring with 
pride to the fact that his portrait had been selected as 
the type of the Caucasian race in a standard work on 
Ethnology. 

In November, Joachim assisted in some recitals in 

and about Gratz, in Styria, at the first of which Brahms 

played the " E flat minor Scherzo " and 

Gratz the " Handel Variations." Heuberger, who 

here saw him for the first time, describes 

him as "a blonde and slender man," and adds that 

44 



Biographical 



his music sounded to him — and to most of the 
audience, no doubt — "confused and uninteUigible." 
He was known chiefly through his arrangement of the 
chorale melody, "/« the Stillness of the Night." Only 
a small portion of his original work was known, and 
then only by the musically elect. The "B flat Sextet" 
and " B major Trio " had been tried over timidly. 

December i, 1867, is an important date in the life of 
Brahms, for on that date were given to the public 
the first three numbers of the " German 
Requiem " at a Gesellschaft concert, and hnporiant 
were received with a storm of theological Event 

criticism, because the composer had de- 
parted from the beaten track and had dared to select 
his words fur himself from the Bible. The "Requiem," 
except for the fifth chorus, which was not written until 
the summer of 1868, had been ready for performance 
in the previous spring, so Herbeck, the Gesellschaft 
conductor, arranged to give the first half as above 
stated. The first performance of the entire work (as 
completed at this time) was not brought about until 
the next year in Bremen. 

The chief event of the year 1868, if not the most 
important of his whole life to Brahms, was the per- 
formance in Bremen Cathedral on Good 
Friday, April 10, of the " German Requiem " " German 
(Op. 45), under the direction of Reinthaler. Requiem " 
On the way Brahms had stopped at Olden- 
burg, where he bad given a concert on April 4. playing 

45 



Brah 



ms 



the "Handel Variations" and the Schumann "Con- 
certo." His father came from Hamburg especially to 
hear the " Requiem," and Brahms' cup would have been 
full but for one thing. " Only Madame Schumann will 
now be wanting; but I shall miss her presence sadly," 
he had been heard to say. The word was communi- 
cated to her, and she came from Baden-Baden to sur- 
prise him, walking into the Cathedral on his arm on 
the day of the performance. 

Never had the Cathedral been so full — the audience 
numbered 2000 persons — never had enthusiasm been 

so great. The effect of the performance 
Great En- was overwhelming ; and it became evident 
thusiasm at once that the "Requiem " ranked among 

the loftiest music ever given to the world. 
At this performance the fifth number, for Soprano Solo 
and Chorus, was not yet in existence, so Madame 
Joachim sang, " I know that my Redeemer liveth," 
and Joachim played Schumann's "Abendlied." 

The work, as completed, has seven numbers : two 
baritone solos with chorus, a soprano solo with chorus, 

and four separate choruses. It has nothing 
Opening in common with liturgical requiems, having 
Chorus to do with death and eternity, consolation 
and Second for the mourner, closing with a song of 
Number victory over death and the grave. The 

opening chorus, " Blessed are they that 
mourn," is particularly noticeable for the richness of 
its accompaniment. In the second number, a " Funeral 

46 



Biographical 



March," the composer graphically portrays the measured 
tread of the cortege by the use of triple rhythm (f), 
cutting loose from ordinary methods, and, by the use 
of legitimate musical processes, achieving what others 
strive after by sensuous or purely imitative means. 
The chorus sings the words, " Behold all flesh is as 
grass," partly in unison with the strange and impressive 
orchestral music ; the movement closes with a long 
fugue, " The redeemed of the Lord shall return again." 
The third number, " Lord, make me to know the 
measure of my days," opens with a Baritone solo, 
followed by two choral fugues, solid but 
difficult, calling for a chorus of unusual dis- Remaining 
cipline and intelligence, the second being Numbers 
developed upon an uninterrupted pedal 
point into a grand fugue. The fourth number, a 
Chorus, " How lovely is Thy dwelling-place," is in strik- 
ing contrast, being a very melodious slow movement. 
The fifth (this is the number that Fuller Maitland 
attributes especially to the influence of Frau Brahms' 
death), for Soprano Solo and Chorus ("As one whom his 
own mother comforteth, so will I comfort you "), shows 
the composer's melodious attractiveness and unusual 
power as a song-writer. In the next number, for Chorus 
with Baritone Solo responses, " Here on earth we have 
no continuing place," the resurrection of the dead is 
depicted in fugal passages of tremendous power and 
difficulty, the climax of the entire work, closing with a 
brilliant double fugue in C major on the words, " Lord, 

47 



Brahms 

Thou art worthy." After the storm, the calm in the 
finale, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord," 
containing a reminiscence of the opening number, with 
harp accompaniment, and closing the work in a gentle 
but deeply serious strain. 

After the performance there was a gathering of 
Brahms' friends, to the number of more than a hundred, 
at the old Rathskeller. Among those pre- 
Brahms' sent were, of course, Brahms and his father, 
Gathering Madame and Marie Schumann, the Rein- 
thalers and the Joachims ; also the Stock- 
hausens, the Grimms, the Dietrichs, Max Bruch, 
Richard Barth — all intimate friends of Brahms — Rieter- 
Biedermann, who came from Switzerland, and after- 
wards published the "Requiem," and others from a dis- 
tance, one coming even from England. There was a quiet 
celebration, culminating in a toast to Brahms by the hero 
of the day, Reinthaler, the conductor who had made the 
success possible, and a final toast to Reinthaler by Brahms. 

The "Requiem" was repeated April 27, but not in 

the Cathedral; was twice given at Oldenburg under 

Dietrich, and went the round of the prin- 

Later Per- cipal German cities, exciting general ad- 

formances miration and appreciation. It was first 

performed in Switzerland and in England in 

1873, ^^s given by Theodore Thomas at the Cincinnati 

Festival of 1884, and in New York by the Oratorio 

Society, under Frank Damrosch, March 24, 1904. 

Brahms remained in North Germany for a part of the 
4S 



Biographica] 



summer with the Dietrichs at Oldenburg. One day, 
on a pleasure trip to Wilhelmshafen, where 
he was very anxious to see the shipyards, he Inspiration 
was very serious — a most unusual thing, 
for he was generally the life of the party — and appeared 
deeply moved by Holderlin's " Song of Destiny," which 
he had read for the first time early that morning. Later 
in the day he was discovered sitting alone by the sea, 
writing furiously the first sketches for his setting of the 
poem, which appeared soon after, Brahms hurrying to 
Hamburg to complete the work. Later in the summer 
he made a prolonged stay at Bonn, where he at- 
tended to the publication of the "Requiem," finished 
" Rinaldo," and wrote many songs. 

One who met him in 1865 describes him as follows : 
— "By his personal appearance and powerful playing 
(far different from purely technical display) 
he gave the impression of strong personality. Strong 

His short, square figure, almost sandy hair, Personality 
protruding lower lip (giving a cynical expres- 
sion to his beardless and youthful face) were all striking 
and hardly prepossessing ; yet the total impression was 
of consummate strength, both physical and moral. His 
broad chest, Herculean shoulders, powerful head thrown 
back energetically when playing, fine thoughtful brow 
shining as with inward light, Teutonic eyes with won- 
derful fiery glance — softened only by fair eyelashes — 
all betrayed an artistic personality replete with the spirit 
of true genius." 

D 49 



Brahms 

This year witnessed the publication of no less than 
eight works, the list including Op. 40, " Trio for Piano, 
Violin and Waldhorn " (or 'Cello or Viola), 
Publica- in E fiat. (This "Horn Trio," as it is 
tions of familiarly known, is replete with originality 
1868 and romanticism: the theme of the first 

movement came to Brahms on the wooded 
heights above Baden-Baden.) Op. 46, "Four Songs," 
for One Voice with Piano. Op. 47, "Five Songs," 
for One Voice with Piano. Op. 48, "Seven Songs," 
for One Voice with Piano. Op. 49) "Five Songs," 
for One Voice with Piano. (These four numbers 
(Op. 46, 47, 48, 49) were published together in Oc- 
tober.) Op. 42, "Three Songs," for Six-part Mixed 
Chorus, a capella. The " German Requiem " (Op. 45), 
and "Four Songs" (Op. 43), for One Voice with 
Piano. 

Brahms had now reached his full growth. The 
struggle for acknowledgment was over, the victory won, 

and he was henceforth regarded as the 
Full Frui- greatest living German composer, with the 
tioti (1869- possible exception of Wagner. His time, 
1897) except for the period from 1872 to 1875, 

was now spent entirely in composing and 
editing masterpieces, with an occasional short tour to 
play or direct his own compositions. 

In 1869 two concert tours were projected — one to 
Holland, the other to Russia, but neither was carried 
out. This summer was spent at Lichtenthal, near 

so 



Biographical 



Baden-Baden, where Madame Schumann had her home 
for many years. It had been his habit, and continued 
so until her death, to spend the whole or a part of 
each summer near her : during the succeeding years he 
seldom went to North Germany. (Dietrich this year 
brought out a Symphony, which he dedicated to 
Brahms.) 

The published works of this year include three Opus 
numbers, as follows : — 

Op. 50, " Rinaldo," Cantata for Tenor 

Solo, Male Chorus, and Orchestra. Works of 
(Goethe's poem is derived from an 1869 

episode in Tasso's Jerusalem De- 
livered.) 
Op. 52, " Liebesiieder {Love Song) Waltzes," for 
Piano, Four Hands, and Voices ad lib (verses 
from Daumer's Polydora.) 
Op. 52A, ditto for Piano, Four Hands (without 
Voice parts). 
These "Waltzes," eighteen in number, were a 
departure from the traditional dance music, in that 
Brahms has written four -part vocal parts 
to accompany the dance, just as the ^^ Liebes- 
dancers have been in the habit, from lieder 

time out of mind, of singing an im- IVallzes" 
promptu accompaniment as they dance. 
"They are as dainty as Strauss and as melodious 
as Schubert." 

Two compositions without Opus number were an 
51 



Brahms 

important contribution to piano literature, namely, the 
"6tude after Chopin," and "Rondo after 
Hungarian Weber." This year also were brought out 
Dances the first two books of the most popular of 

Brahms' works, the " Hungarian Dances," 
for Piano, Four Hands. (The third and fourth books 
appeared in 1880.) These "Dances" are national 
melodies by Hungarian composers, arranged by Brahms, 
and completed in 1867. The composers of the original 
melodies are named in the AUgemeine Musikalische 
Zettung, 1874, page 348. The authorship of these 
dances gave rise to an idle controversy and attack upon 
Brahms, but entirely without reason, as the title-page 
bears no Opus number, and distinctly declares that they 
were " Arranged by J. Brahms." He arranged the first 
set for Orchestra as well. 

In January 1870 appeared the "Rhapsodic" (Frag- 
ment from Goethe's Harzreise im Winter), for Alto 
Solo, Male Chorus and Orchestra (Op. 53). 
'' Rhapso- This work and " Rinaldo " are the finest 
die'' Male Choruses in existence. The "Rhap- 

sodic" Brahms regarded as the truest ex- 
pression of his deepest feelings, and (it is said) loved 
it so much that he laid it under his pillow at night to 
have it always near him (though that doesn't sound 
much like Brahms). In February he sent a copy to 
Dietrich, with the words, " I am sending you my 
' Rhapsodic ' ; the conductors will not exactly fight 
for the Opus, but it will perhaps be a satisfaction to 

52 



Biographical 

you to see that I do not always write in such frivolous 
time as f " (referring to the " Liebeslieder Waltzes "), and 
adds, " I am having a luxurious musical time here, 
Rubinstein, Meistersinger, and what not ! " 

On January 20, 187 1, for the first time in twelve 
years, Brahms played the "D minor Concerto" before 
a Viennese audience, at a Philharmonic 
Society Concert, and this time it was re- Pianoforte 
ceived with acclamation — the critics and Concerto 
the public had grown up to it. Dr Helm succeeds in 
said of it at this time, " It is the most Vienna 

original production of its composer, except 
the 'German Requiem,' and the most genial (!) com- 
position of its kind since the days of Beethoven." 

On Good Friday the " Requiem " (now complete) 
was given again at Bremen Cathedral, together with 
the " Hallelujah " (first chorus from the 
"Triumphlied," Op. 55). The effect of New 

the latter composition was overwhelming Master- 
and grand. Later in the year, at Carls- pieces 

ruhe, occurred the first performance of the 
"Schicksalslied" (Song of Destiny), from Friedr. Hol- 
derlin's Hyperion, perhaps the most widely loved of 
all Brahms' compositions, and the most perfect of his 
smaller choral works. 

The " Triumphlied " was given entire at the Dussel- 
dorf Musical Festival, and met with enormous success.' 

' According to Upton, it was first performed at the 51st Festival 
of the Lower Rhine at Cologne in 1873, though this is doubtful, as it 
was certainly performed there a year later. 

53 



Brah 



ms 



It was inspired by the successes of the German forces 
in the Franco-Prussian War, and is dedicated to the 
Emperor William I. The words are taken from the 19th 
chapter of the Revelation of St John, and 
^^ Triumph- the work is set for eight-part Chorus through- 
lied" out, except for a few measures for Baritone 

solo. It consists of three broadly-planned 
choruses : the first, " Hallelujah, Praise the Lord," intro- 
duces the German National Hymn, " Heil dir im Sieger- 
kranz," and the third, the chorale, " Now thank we all our 
God," in the bass; the whole ending with " Hallelujah." 
It must have been about this time that an episode 
took place of which Heuberger speaks. It seems that 
Brahms had been much pleased with the 
'■'■ j^sthetic country round about Gratz, in Styria, and 
Women" wanted to rent a house for the summer in 
the neighbourhood of Gratwein. He found 
a place that suited him, and settled down for the sum- 
mer, but suddenly left after a few days — literally driven 
away, as he explained afterwards, by two very "aesthetic" 
women. He could not endure people who showed that 
they were running after him. 

The published compositions of this year (1871) in- 
clude a "Gavotte" (Gliick), dedicated to 
Publica- Clara Schumann (without Opus number) ; 
tions oj the "Schicksalslied" (Song of Destiny, from 
187 1 Holderlin's Hyperion), (Op. 54), for Chorus 

and Orchestra, brought out in December; 
Op. 57, " Lieder und Gesange," for Solo Voice and 

54 



Biographical 



Piano (the words by G. F. Daumer) ; and Op. 58, 
" Lieder und Gesiinge," for Solo Voice with Piano. 

In 1872 Brahms accepted the appointment as Director 
of the concerts of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde 
(Society of the Friends of Music), succeed- 
ing Herbeck, who resigned to devote his Gesellschaft 
entire time to his duties as Court Capell- der Musik- 
meister and Conductor of the Opera. freunde 
Brahms gave extraordinary lustre and im- 
portance to these concerts by the performances of 
the great choral works of Bach and Handel, giving 
Handel's "Saul," "Solomon," "Alexander's Feast," the 
" Dettingen Te Deum " and the Organ Concerto in D. 

At this time he was still, as described by one who 
sang under him, " rather delicate, slim-looking, with 
a beardless face of ideal expression." As 
he afterwards described himself to Wid- Still 

mann, " I suppose I did look somewhat Delicate- 
like a doubtful candidate for the ministry looking 
in those days." The "Triumphlied" was 
published this year, as was also a song, without Opus 
number, " Mondnacht " (Moonlight), words by Jos. 
von Eichendorff. 

In 1873 Brahms again visited Oldenburg, and was 
still joking about his "bride" (Dietrich's 
daughter). The new works of this year Works of 
are: — 1873 

Op. 51, "Two Quartets," for two Violins, 
Viola and 'Cello, dedicated to Dr Theodor Billroth 



Brahms 

of Vienna. No. i in C minor (in the style of Beeth- 
oven) ; No. 2 in A minor (Schubert-like in character). 

Op. 56A, " Variations on a Theme by Haydn " (eight 
in number), for Orchestra (published in January 1874). 

Op. 56B, the same for two Pianos, published in Nov- 
ember 1873. 

These "Variations for Orchestra" were built on a 
theme ("Chorale Sancti Antonii"), from Haydn's 
"Divertimento" for Wind Instruments, 
" Haydfi and were written during the summer of 
Variaiiofis" 1873 ^^ Tutzing, on the Starnberger See. 
They were first performed at Vienna on 
November 2. This was the first time that "Variations 
for Orchestra " had appeared as a separate number. 

Op. 59, " Lieder und Gesange," for One Voice with 
Piano (including the " Regenlied," the theme of which 
Brahms was so fond of that he used it, in altered form, 
in the next song, " Nachklange," and in later instru- 
mental compositions). 

Brahms was accorded an enthusiastic reception early 
in 1874 at Leipsic and Munich, and in May at Cologne, 
where the " Triumphlied " was on the 
Later programme of the Lower Rhenish Music 

Successes of Festival. It was also given the same year 
" Triumph- at Breslau and Berlin (through the influence 
lied" of Stockhausen), and late in the spring at 

the Musical Festival in Zurich, under 
Hegar, Brahms being present. (He spent nearly all 
of that summer at Rueschlikon, near Zurich.) 

56 



Biographical 



He received this year the first of many decorations, 
when the King of Bavaria honoured him with the Maxi- 
milian Order of Arts and Sciences. It was 
on December 29, at Breslau, that Brahms First 

first met Max Kalbeck, poet, critic, and his Decoration 
future biographer. 

This year were published Op. 6x, "Four Duets for 
Soprano and Alto " with Piano. Op. 62, " Seven Songs 
for Mixed Chorus," a capella. (These 
"Deutsche Volkslieder" consist of tunes. Works of 
religious and secular, from Meister, Kretsch- 1874 

mer and Zuccalmaglio, arranged for four 
voices, and dedicated to the Vienna Sing-Akademie.) 
Op. 63, " Lieder und Gesange," for One Voice with 
Piano. Op. 64, "Quartets for Four Solo Voices and 
Piano." 

In March 1875 there was a sensational performance 
of the "German Requiem " in the great Music Hall in 
Vienna, which made Brahms' Viennese fame 
secure. This was all the more remarkable '■^ Requietn" 
because, only a few days before, Wagner and 

had given a performance of fragments from "Ring" 
the " Ring," and was, for the time, the centre 
of musical interest. Brahms had not planned the 
" Requiem " performance as a demonstration against 
Wagner, and no one would have predicted its colossal 
success, least of all Brahms himself. 

This same year the Gesellschaft gave the Bach "St 
Matthew Passion " and Bruch's "Odysseus," the latter 

57 



Brahms 

being the last performance under the direction of 
Brahms before his resignation took effect. 
Last These performances, as well as all the 

Gesellschaft others which he directed, went off beautifully. 
Concerts Brahms having trained the chorus excellently 
and conducted with great earnestness. He 
resigned this post for the same reason that he had given 
up his position in the Sing-Akademie, in order that he 
might have greater leisure. He was succeeded by 
Herbeck. 

The performance of "Odysseus" took place in the 
morning, and was followed by the solemn ceremony 
of presenting Brahms with an illuminated 
Public address, acknowledging his great achieve- 

Ceremony ments as Conductor of the Society, and ex- 
pressing the Society's and Chorus's regrets 
at his resignation. A local poet delivered a most eulo- 
gistic oration, which Brahms, looking very much bored, 
merely acknowledged with a "Thank you very much," 
then, taking the folio containing the address under his 
arm, walked away. Such official proceedings were ex- 
ceedingly distasteful to him. Far more to his liking was 
the supper at one of the leading hotels, to which on the 
evening of that day a number of friends sat down with 
him, and which the presence of ladies made the more 
acceptable to the guest of the evening. 

This and the two succeeding summers were spent at 
Ziegelhausen, near Heidelberg, in his usual retired way, 
in a simple country house surrounded by a garden. 

5« 



Biographical 



Only a few friends went in and out : he lived only for his 

health and his art, and was often to be seen 

walking about for hours at a time in the early Ziegel- 

morning lost in thought. Simple and plain hauseti 

in his habits, he wished to be free from 

all restraints of society and to work and rest in his own 

way. For recreation he enjoyed reading fairy tales and 

legends in the evenings, and desired his friends to keep 

him supplied with them. He always left strict orders 

that no one, not even his best friend, was to enter his 

room during his absence. 

Many tried to get near him, and many invitations 
were sent to him, but all were declined. Even noble- 
men were treated with scant ceremony when 
intruding upon his privacy, though all ser- Popular 
vants and children fell captive to the charm with 

of his manner toward them. When he went Children 
out the village children followed him about, 
leaving their games to extend their dirty hands in greet- 
ing. He had always a smile and pleasant greeting for 
them, and was in the habit of giving them chocolates and 
sweets. One day he came home in great good humour, 
saying to his landlady, "Just see. Next year I shall be 
elected to some office in the parish ; I have become very 
popular in Ziegelhausen." 

One day Brahms with several friends gave orders to 
an innkeeper to have a favourite drink prepared while 
they went for a short walk upon the Neckar. The inn- 
keeper's wife put the beverage, when completed, aside 

59 



Brahms 

to cool, when a group of Heidelberg students dis- 
covered it, and, in spite of all protests, 
Students' drank every drop. On their visiting-cards 
Prank they wrote humorous verses, and left them 

to be given to Brahms on his return. He 
laughed heartily at their prank, though his friends did 
not relish the joke quite so much. 

In February 1876 there was another concert tour, 
which took in Miinster (Westphalia), Koblenz, Wies- 
baden, and other places. At Wiesbaden 
Aristocratic x^'-A^^di the Princess of Hesse-Barchfeld, a 
Friends friend and admirer of Brahms, who, after the 
concert there, gave a supper, where he was the 
guest of honour. This was one of the occasions of this 
nature when Brahms was thoroughly happy and animated, 
and he joined in a very lively game of billiards afterward 
with the utmost enjoyment. Just before leaving, the 
Princess presented him with a handsome ebony box, to 
the lid of which was attached a laurel wreath of silver, 
each leaf of which bore engraved upon it the title of one 
of his works. Next morning he played at a musical 
matinee at the Princess's house his "String Quartet in 
C minor " (Op. 60), with the Frankfort String Quartet. 
With the exception of the Princess of Hesse-Barchfeld 
and the Landgravine Anne of Hesse (whom he admired 
for her simple and modest, yet cordial and affable, man- 
ner, no less than for her considerable musical talent), 
and, later in life, the Duke and Duchess of Meiningen, 
Brahms did not care particularly for personal intercourse 

60 



Biographical 



with the " highest spheres of society," as he called them. 

Part of the summer of 1876 was spent at Sassnitz, 
island of Riigen, in the Baltic Sea, in company with 
Georg Henschel. This was a most happy 
time for Brahms. He was very fond of the Sassnifz 
sea, being a fine swimmer, and liked to dive 
with eyes open for coins or other conspicuous objects 
on the sea floor. He would walk about here generally 
with waistcoat unbuttoned and hat in hand, always with 
spotless linen, but without collar or tie, which he donned 
only at iabk d'hote. His healthy, ruddy skin bore wit- 
ness to his habit of spending much time in the open air 
in all kinds of weather. " His whole appearance — short, 
broad-chested, with hair falling almost to the shoulders 
— vividly recalled some portraits of Beethoven." His 
appetite was excellent (he was always fond of good living), 
and it was his habit every evening to drink three glasses 
of beer, always finishing with his beloved " Kaffee " 
(coffee). Henschel wrote of him : " During all these 
days Brahms has never spoken of anything which does 
not really interest him, never said anything superfluous 
or commonplace, except at table d'hote, where he pur- 
posely talks of hackneyed things." 

Brahms had changed his place of residence, and lived 
now at No. 4 Carlgasse, which remained his place of 
abode for many years. On November 4 (1876) the 
"First Symphony" (Op. 68) in C minor was given, 
from MS., at Carlsruhe.' Brahms had been at work on 

' It was performed within the next few months successively at 
Stuttgart, Mannheim, and the Gewandhaus in Leipsic. 

61 



Brah 



ms 



it for fully ten years, and the cordial reception accorded 
it showed that the labour had not been in 
First vain. His painstaking care and self-re- 

Symphony straint in the creation of this masterpiece 
are as commendable as they are unusual. 
Imagine a German composer, of all people, waiting 
until he was forty-three years old before producing 
his first Symphony ! The Symphony, in character 
passionate and at times sombre, like the " D minor 
Concerto," consists of four movements, and is char- 
acterised throughout by a feeling of striving, questioning, 
complaining and longing. 

The published works of 1875 and 1876 were: — 
Op. 60, "Third Quartet" in C minor, for Piano, 
Violin, Viola and 'Cello. In the last move- 
Works of ment of this " Quartet " Brahms employed 

1875 a/i^ the theme of the "Regenlied" (Op. 59, 

1876 No. 3). In this composition he was accused 
of plagiarism from Mendelssohn's C minor 

Trio. One musician who mentioned the accusation to 
Brahms received the placid reply : " True, such things 
will happen sometimes, even to the best of us ; the pity 
only is that every donkey should go and find it out at 
once." 

Op. 65, " New Liebeslieder Waltzes," for Piano, Four 
Hands, and Four Voices. The words for these were 
again taken from Daumer's Polydora — there were in all 
fourteen waltzes, with Finale in f time. 

Op. 66, "Five Duets," for Soprano and Alto with 
62 



Biographical 



Piano. Op. 67, "Quartet No. 3" in B flat, for Two 
Violins, Viola and 'Cello, dedicated to Professor Th. 
W. Engelmann, of Utrecht, and full of a Mozartean 
delicacy and humour. 

In 1877 the University of Cambridge, England, con- 
ferred upon Brahms the degree of Doctor of Music. 
When the degree was first offered to him, 
it was suggested that he write a new work Doctor of 
for the occasion. He replied that if any Music 

of his old works seemed good enough he 
would be happy to receive the honour, but that he was 
too busy (/) to write a new one. 

Early in the year the University had decided to confer 
the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, upon both 
Brahms and Joachim. Joachim at once 
accepted the invitation, together with the Brahms' 
conditions — to receive the degree in person Thesis 

and to furnish a new composition as thesis 
to be performed on the day of the ceremony. Brahms, 
on the contrary, had no desire nor intention of visiting 
England, looking upon it as probably the least musical 
country in Europe, and besides set no store whatever 
upon honorary degrees. Therefore he declined to be 
present, but was willing to receive the degree if con- 
ferred in absentia, and offered as his thesis the " C minor 
Symphony " (known for this reason in England as the 
" Cambridge Symphony "), which had been performed 
the previous November at Carlsruhe. After some 
consideration the offer was accepted, and the date 

6? 



Brahms 

of the ceremony was fixed on March 8th at Cam- 
bridge. 

Brahms had been known heretofore in England chieflly 
as a writer of chamber music, and had achieved no 

popularity, being understood only by the 
Brahms few. The " First Symphony " opened the 
in eyes of English music-lovers and was the 

E?igland beginning of a widespread appreciation 

throughout England. The Symphony was 
performed by the Cambridge University Musical Society 
under C. Villiers Stanford, and the impression was over- 
whelming. The "Schicksalslied " was also given at this 
concert and added to the impression produced by the 
Symphony. 

On December 24th the "Second Symphony" in D 
(Op. 73), was given for the first time by the Vienna 

Philharmonic Orchestra, under Richter, and 
Second was well received. This Symphony, in 
Symphony marked contrast to the first, is tranquil, 

Mozart-like in its general character, and, like 
it, consists of four movements. " It is an idyll, full of 
deep content, sparkling life, magic charm and happiness 
— a glimpse of Nature — a spring day amid soft mosses, 
springing woods, birds' notes, and the bloom of flowers." 
It was published in 1878. 

The following works appeared in that and the preced- 
year : — 

Op. 68, " First Symphony " in C minor. 
Op. 69, "Nine Songs," for One Voice with Piano. 
64 



Biographical 



Op. 70, " Four Songs," for One Voice and Piano. 

Op. 71, " Five Songs," for One Voice and Piano. 

Op. 72, "Five Songs," for One Voice and Piano. 

Op. 73, "Second Symphony" in D major. 

Op. 75, " Ballads and Romances," for Two Voices 
and Piano, dedicated to Julius Allgeyer. 
Upon the death of Herbeck in 1877 Brahms suc- 
ceeded him as a Commissioner of the Ministry of 
Education. His duties in this position were to pass 
on the applicants for State aid in pursuing their 
studies and artistic pursuits. It was in this capacity 
that he was able to render Dvorak substantial service, 
as well as by prevailing upon Simrock to undertake 
the publication of the works of the struggling 
Bohemian. 

In 1878 Brahms went on the first of those Italian 
journeys which meant so much to him during the latter 
part of his life, his companion being Dr Bill- 
roth. The travellers visited Rome, Naples First 
and Sicily. Similar trips were planned for Italian 
the following springs (1879 to 1882), and Journey 
probably carried out, for Brahms was cer- 
tainly in Rome in 1882. They avoided the large hotels, 
preferring the small, purely Italian inns. In preparing 
for this first journey, Brahms wrote to his companion, 
"I beg of you, before passing the frontier, to put two 
or three little blue packets of French tobacco {caporal) 
in your pockets and bags for me." 

Early in 1S79 Brahms went to Frankfort to be present 

E 65 



Brahms 

at the first performance of Dietrich's opera, "Robin 
Hood," going thence to Bremen to conduct 
Doctor of the third performance of the " Requiem." 
Philosophy Later in the year the University of Breslau 
made him a Doctor of Philosophy, giving 
him precedence over all other living composers of Church 
music. He treated this University better than Cam- 
bridge, for, at a concert given in honour of the event of 
conferring the degree, Brahms brought out two new 
compositions, the first of which had evidently been 
written for the occasion. These were the two over- 
tures, " Academic Festival " and " Tragic " (Op. 80 
and 81). The first of these was essentially popular in 
character, being built upon popular student songs and 
winding up with " Gaudeamus." It was received with 
hearty enthusiasm. A few months later it was given 
in England, first at the Crystal Palace under Manns, 
and shortly after at the Richter Concerts. The " Tragic," 
as its name implies, is marked by deep earnestness, 
resignation and melancholy. 

On January 14th the "Violin Concerto " (Op. 77), 
was played by Joachim, and received an ovation. It 
was pronounced by the critics second only 
Violin to Beethoven's. It is in style less a concerto 

Concerto than a sonata concertante. The orchestra 
and does not seem subordinated nor the instru- 

Sonata ment pushed to the fore by marked technique 

and passage-work. It is not a repertoire 
piece, but rather for the inner circle of Brahms' admirers. 

66 




JOHANNES liRAHMS 
From a photograph 



To face page 66 



Biographical 



In November Joachim played the G major "Violin 
Sonata " at a Hellmesberger concert with the usual 
success. To Joachim and his quartet (including 
D'Ahna, Wirth and Robert Hausmann) Brahms owes 
a great debt for the loving labour which they bestowed 
upon his chamber works, by their artistic rendition 
doing as much as anything to establish his fame and 
popularise his works. 

The new publications of 1879 were two works with- 
out Opus number from the press of Senff 
("Presto" after Bach, and "Chaconne" Motets 

after Bach), and Op. 74, " Two Motets " and 

for Mixed Chorus, a capella, dedicated to Piano 

Philipp Spitta and written in the old style. Pieces 

Op. 76, " Piano Pieces " (Capriccios and 
Intermezzi). Op. 77, "Violin Concerto" in D major, 
written for and dedicated to Jos. Joachim. This is a 
magnificent work, of all modern concertos the one most 
worthy to stand beside Beethoven's. 

In 1880, on the occasion of the unveiling of the 
Schumann Denkmal over his grave at Bonn on the 
Rhine, Brahms took active part in the 
exercises, playing the pianoforte part in Schumann 
Schumann's " Pianoforte Quartet " in E Denkmal 
major (Op. 47), and conducting the music 
throughout the exercises. All the music performed at 
the concert was Schumann's with the exception of 
Brahms' "Violin Concerto" (Op. 77), which Joachim 
played. 

67 



Brahms 

The summer of this, as well as many subsequent 
years, was spent at Ischl. The works of this year 

were :— Op. 78, " Sonata for Pianoforte and 
Violin Violin " in G major. In the last movement 

Sonata and of this sonata Brahms again used the theme 
Rhapsodies of the " Regenlied," of which he seemed 

especially fond. Op. 79, "Two Rhap- 
sodies," for Piano, dedicated to Frau Elizabeth von 
Herzogenberg. 

On January 4, 1881, the two overtures were given 
privately at Breslau without special success, and on 
January 13 at Leipsic. Later in the month Brahms 
received an offer from the London Philharmonic 

Orchestra to act as Conductor, but liberty 
Called to was too sweet, so the offer was declined. 
London The summer of this year was spent at 

Ischl, excepting the month of August, which 
was spent at Pressbaum, near Vienna ; and after the 
return to the city in October came a long concert 
tour, in which the B flat " Piano Concerto " (Op. 83) was 
produced at Buda-Pesth, and repeated at Meiningen, 
Stuttgart, Basle, Ziirich and Vienna. 

The published works of this year in- 
" Chorale- elude " Chorale- vorspiel {Chorale Prelude) 
vorspieV and Fugue" (" O Traurigkeit, O Herze- 

leid ") for Organ, which appeared in 
the Musikalischen Wochenblatt, Op. 80, " Aca- 
demic Festival Overture," and Op. 81, " Tragic Over- 
ture. " 

68 



Biographical 



Op. 82, "Niinie," a Choral Ode (words from Schiller), 
for Chorus and Orchestra (Harp ad libitum), was dedi- 
cated to Frau Hofrath Henriette Feuerbach, 
the mother of Anselm Feuerbach, the lamen- Niinie 

ted artist, who had been a true art companion 
of Brahms, and whose death had suggested the work 
Its first performance in England was in March 1883, 
but it was not cordially received, for the reason that 
Goetz's setting of the same words, which had been 
enthusiastically received shortly before, had made a 
second setting unwelcome. 

It was Brahms' good fortune to enjoy the friendship 
of many of the great men in the German literary and 
artistic world. One of these was Gottfried 
Keller, some of whose poems he had set Keller 

to music, and whom he had met in the fall 
of 1882, and greatly admired. 

The "Third Symphony" (Op. 90), in F major, was 
performed at the Gewandhaus, Leipsic, under Brahms' 
direction, and in Vienna during the winter 
of 1883,' and was repeated in every musical " Third 
centre in Germany. It consists of the usual Symphony " 
four movements, and was published in 1884. 
The Andante opens with a reminiscence of the Prayer 
from Zampa, but the similarity goes no further; the 
Poco allegretto is a veritable gem; the Finale has 
been likened, not without reason, to a battle. 

' Its first Viennese performance was at a concert of the Phil- 
harmonic Society, December 2, 1883. 

69 



Brahms 

The published works of 1882 and 1883 were: — 
Op. 83, " Second Pianoforte Concerto " in B flat, 
dedicated to Eduard Marxsen. Op. 84, 
Concerto, " Romances and Songs," for One or Two 
Songs a?td Voices and Piano. No. 4 of this series is 
Trio the " VergebUches Standchen," one of the 

most popular of Brahms' songs. Op. 85, 
"Six Songs," for One Voice and Piano. Op. 86, "Six 
Songs," for One Voice and Piano. Op. 87, " Trio in 
C major," for Piano, Violin and 'Cello. 

Op. 88, " Quintet in F major," for Two 
" Quintet" Violins, Two Violas and 'Cello. This 
and " Quintet " was written during the sum- 

" Gesang mer of 1882 at Ischl, and was performed in 
der Par- England soon after at a Henry Holmes 
zen " concert. Op. 89, " Gesang der Parzen " 

(Song of the Fates), from Goethe's IpAi- 
genia, dedicated to His Majesty, George, Duke of 
Saxe-Meiningen. 

In 1884 Brahms again visited in Oldenburg, and gave 
a concert, made up entirely of his own works, on De- 
cember 19. When the idea was broached 
Brahms to him, he wrote in reply, " A Brahms even- 
Concert at ing is not exactly to my taste, but I like 
Oldenburg something like the ' Liebeslieder Waltzes ' 
in the programme. Perhaps at the close 
you will give a decent piece by a decent musician." 
Hermine Spiess came from Bremen to sing, and it was 
made quite a gala occasion. The programme included 

70 



Biographical 



the " Tragic Overture,'" " B major Concerto," " Third 
Symphony," " Liebeslieder Waltzes " (which were de- 
scribed as " the sweetest and most charming pieces 
imaginable "), and a group of four songs. 

This year witnessed the publication of an unusually 
large list: Op. 90, "Third Symphony" in F major. 
Op. 91, "Two Songs," for Alto, with 
Viola obligato, and Piano. Op. 92, " Four Many 

Quartets," for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Vocal 

Bass, with Piano. Op. 93A, " Songs and Works 

Romances," for Four-part Chorus, a capella. 
Op. 93B (published January 28, 1885), " Tafellied " 
[Dank der Damen), a drinking glee, by Jos. von 
Eichendorff, for Six-part Chorus and Piano, dedicated 
to a Friend in Crefeld. Op. 94, " Five Songs," for Low 
Voice and Piano. Op. 95, "Seven Songs," for One 
Voice and Piano. 

The " Fourth Symphony " (Op. 98) in E minor, was 
performed in 1885 under the direction of Von Biilow 
and Brahms himself at Meiningen. It was 
given from MS. at a Richter Concert in ^'Fourth 
London in May 1886, then at Leipsic under Symphony" 
Reinecke, who repeated it the next year 
(1887). This symphony is of a pastoral, idyllic char- 
acter, and consists of four movements, the second, 
Andante moderate, an extremely beautiful movement of 
an elegiac character. The fourth, a passacaglia, con- 
sisting of an eight-measure theme, repealed in varied 
form throughout the movement, making in all about 

71 



Brahms 

thirty variations, was an unusual Finale for a symphony, 
and attracted a great deal of well-merited attention to 
the composition. It was published in 1886, along 
with Op. 96, " Four Songs," for One Voice and Piano ; 
and Op. 97, " Six Songs," for One Voice and Piano. 

The year 1886 is important as being that in which 
two honours were bestowed upon Brahms — the first 

when the Emperor of Germany made him a 
Honours Knight of the Order, pour la merite, foi 

Arts and Sciences, at the same time with 
Professor Treitschke, Gustav Freitag and Verdi ; the 
second when the Berlin Academy of Arts elected him a 
foreign member. 

This was the first of three summers which Brahms 
spent at Thun, near Berne. He went in May and 

returned to Vienna in October. The at- 
Thu?i traction here was his friend Widmann, who 

has left a most interesting account of their 
relations during this time, from which much that follows 
is taken. 

In order that he might not be disturbed, Brahms 
rented the entire first floor of a house, brown, with 

green shutters, overlooking the Aar, with a 
Fondness view of the little island promontory of 
for Coffee Scherzlingen opposite, where at one time 

the poet, Hermann von Kleist, dwelt. Here 
he used to rise at dawn and make a cup of coffee, the 
mocha for which had been abundantly supplied by 

Madame F , of Marseilles, and of which he left a 

72 



Biographical 



goodly supply at the Widmanns', that they might enjoy 
his good things with him, and that, on his weekly visits 
to them, he might still have his own favourite beverage. 
The morning hours were religiously devoted to work, 
for which he was always ready at Thun, where the large 
verandah and suite of spacious rooms offered him an 
undisturbed walk for meditation. He wrote during this 
summer the "Sonata for 'Cello and Piano" (Op. 99), 
the "Sonata for Violin and Piano" (Op. 100), and the 
"Pianoforte Trio" (Op. loi), all of which were first 
performed at Widmann's house in Berne. (The 'Cello 
Sonata was taken up in the fall by Hausmann and 
introduced at his concerts.) 

Every Saturday he would come to Berne, remaining 
at Widmann's until Tuesday or Wednesday. He would 
appear with a leathern satchel thrown over 
his shoulder, full of books which he had Visits and 
borrowed, and was returning to exchange Visitors 
for others. He had frequent visitors at 
Thun, among them Professor G. Wendt from Carlsruhe, 
Max Kalbeck, lyric poet and musical critic, and his old 
and intimate friend, Dr Edouard Hanslick, and Klaus 
Groth, the poet, and C. W. Allers, the artist. 

With all his frequent visits to Berne, Brahms ex- 
changed short letters with Widmann every week, but 
rarely went into details. For instance, he 
announced a contemplated visit as follows : — Letters 

" I will not ; I ought not ; I may not ; 
I cannot — but I must go," etc. Or, again — 

73 



Brah 



ms 



"Just decided to look you up to-morrow, Thursday 
afternoon. If there is no cake on the table, it will be 
taken as a sign of dismissal by your B." 

At another time he wrote — '■'■ Enclosed 20 francs. . . . 
or will you meantime accept it after this fashion, and 
cash will follow ; if necessary, enforce payment by pawn- 
ing the travelling effects" (which generally consisted 
of brush, comb and tooth-brush) " of the well-known 
climber of the Jungfrau and Niesen, and frequenter of 
the Schanzli Theatre." (He had never ascended the 
Jungfrau — this allusion was simply in jest — but had 
climbed the Niesen.) 

A temporary misunderstanding upon the score of 
patriotism brought forth an interesting letter of August 
20, 1888, in which Brahm says, "If the 
A Good Bayreuth Theatre stood in France, it would 
Word for not take anything so great as the works of 
Wagner Wagner to make you and all the world go 
on a pilgrimage thither, and rouse your 
enthusiasm for something so ideally conceived and 
executed as those music dramas." 

In May 1887 Brahms went to Italy with Simrock 
and Kirchner, going to Thun upon his return. He left 
in September for Vienna, and was over- 
The Dog joyed before leaving to see Widmann's dog, 
" Argos " " Argos," which had had to be abandoned on 
the Grindelwald glacier a few days before. In 
his first letter from Vienna, he wrote, " How is ' Argos '? 
Would he take it as a tender greeting from me if you 

74 



Biographical 



were to give him a nice piece of meat instead of dog 
biscuit?" 

The "Concerto for Violin and 'Cello" (Op. 102) was 
played by Joachim and Hausmann at Cologne in the 
fall of 1887 ; on New Year's Day, 1888, at 
Leipsic, with Brahms himself as Conductor, Double 

and at a London Symphony Concert in Concerto 
February 1888. It is a revival of a form 
which had for a century been neglected, and is in every 
way a remarkable work. 

The new publications of this year were : — 

Op. 99, "Sonata for 'Cello and Piano " in F major. 
Op. 100, " Sonata for Violin and Piano " in A major. 
There is some similarity between the first theme 
of this sonata and the "Preislied," from "Die 
Meistersinger," 
Op. loi, "Trio for Piano, Violin and 'Cello" in 
C minor. The slow movement of this trio is in 
the "seven-four" rhythm. 
May 7, 1888, Brahms and Widmann started from 
Verona on an Italian trip, through the Marches to 
Umbria, Rome, and back through Pied- 
mont. At Bologna, Brahms' mf(?^«zy<?, which Martucci 
he generally assumed on his Italian trips, 
proved unavailing because of the presence of many 
German musicians at the International Exposition. 
When Martucci, the Director of the Conservatory and 
Conductor of the Opera, heard of Brahms' presence, 
he at once sent his card to the hotel, "Quattro Pelle- 

75 



Brah 



ms 



grini," where the travellers were sojourning, and re- 
quested permission to pay his respects. A meeting was 
arranged, and as Brahms did not speak Italian, though 
he read it with considerable fluency, Widmann was 
requested to act as interpreter. Upon entering the 
room, Martucci nearly prostrated himself to the floor, 
and, seizing the master's hand, kissed it in spite of 
resistance. He informed Brahms that he had recently 
given the " Second Symphony " at Naples, and showed 
great familiarity with the latter's chamber works, hum- 
ming themes and exhibiting great enthusiasm. Soon 
they began conversing as best they could without the 
aid of the interpreter, and parted good friends. 

The next day the travellers passed through Rimini 
and San Marino, which Brahms facetiously called the 

"Postage Stamp Republic." While they 
Rossini were passing through Pesaro, he insisted 

that, though they couldn't stop, they must 
honour Rossini's memory by each singing some air from 
// Barbiere as the train rolled through the town. 

The summer months were again spent at Thun, where 
everyone was stimulated by his active mind, for he was 

always in excellent spirits, and his themes of 
Intense conversation seemed inexhaustible. He was 
Patriot an attentive newspaper reader and observer 

of important political events, always anxious 
about the result upon the fortunes of Germany. (He 
was an intense patriot.) In the early fall he and 
Widmann started out on a short journey, but were called 

76 



Biographical 



back to meet Ernst von Wildenbruch, the playwright, 
with whom Brahms became very friendly. He left 
Thun in September. 

The year 1889 was marked by two more honours 
bestowed upon him, the first the Order of St Leopold, 
from the Emperor of Austria — the first time 
that this Order had been bestowed upon a More 

civilian — and the second, in the summer — Honours 
the honour which he valued most highly of 
all — the freedom of his native city, Hamburg. In May 
he went to Ischl for the summer. In reality a social 
creature, as the years went by, he felt ever more and 
more attached to the friends at Vienna, and it was this 
fact which infiuenced him to spend this and subsequent 
summers near the city. There was also this summer a 
short visit to Lichtenthal (Baden-Baden) — where his 
headquarters were at the "Baren," a comfortable and 
quiet inn in the Lichtenthal AUee — followed by a short 
stay at Carlsruhe. 

The next Italian tour was in the spring of 1890, again 
in company with Widmann, with whom he made still a 
third tour in 1893. The second journey was 
not very lengthy, taking in only Northern Italy Brahms 
— Parma, Cremona, Brescia, Vicenza, Padua, as a 

and returning by way of Verona. On board Nurse 

ship, returning from Messina to Naples, upon 
the third trip, Widmann was struck by a piece of luggage, 
which threw him down and accidentally dislocated his 
ankle, necessitating his remaining in bed for a few days. 

77 



Brahms 

This mishap brought out a new side of Brahms' nature, 
when acting as nurse, he cared for his friend in the 
most tender manner. It was after this fashion that he 
celebrated his sixtieth birthday. This was the last of 
these Italian journeys, which were the chief of his 
pleasures. 

Brahms was passionately fond of Italy. A spring 
which brought no journey to Italy seemed to him to be 
half wasted. He felt an inner sympathy 
Reverence with the masters of the Italian Renaissance, 
for though he never said so in so many words, 

Masters always speaking with touching modesty and 
of Art deepest veneration of the great heroes in 

every field of Art. He took special delight 
in discovering evidences of the genius of patient labour, 
which would pass unnoticed by the ordinary tourist. 
His interest in Art was natural and spontaneous, not 
based upon any previous study of the history of Art. 
If he did any studying, it was after rather than before he 
made his visits to the galleries. He did not consult his 
guide-book, but walked rapidly along, pausing before 
any work that particularly struck him. He did not go 
to Italy to hear music, although he entertained the 
greatest respect for Verdi, always speaking of him in 
enthusiastic terms. But he never went to the Opera in 
Italy, probably because the performances began too 
late ; he was usually up before five in the morning. 

He loved the spontaneity and fervour of the Italians, 
considering it much more desirable than the coldness of 

78 



Biographical 



his northern compatriots. While in Italy he took special 
pains to meet the natives half-way in the 
matter of suavity and politeness. It is related Loved the 
that he was so thoughtful of others that, Italiatis 
upon arriving at a hotel to spend the night, 
he would at once, upon retiring to his room, remove his 
boots and place them outside the door, so that servants 
would not have to work late on his account. In the 
meantime he would walk about in his stocking-feet until 
bedtime, sometimes an hour or more. He was so en- 
amoured with Italian life that he would not see its shady 
side : the Italians in their turn venerated him. 

During the latter part of his life Brahms was the 
musical centre of Vienna, and during the 
summers which he spent at Ischl he Musical 
attracted thither crowds of musicians from Centre of 
all parts of the world. It might be in- Vienna 

teresting to know that his favourite Vien- 
nese restaurant was " Zum rothen Igel." 

In the early nineties appeared the following new 
works — it is significant of his vitality that he wrote, 
in the last seven years of his life, twenty 
important compositions, the last appearing Last 

in June 1896: — Works 

Op. 102, " Double Concerto for Violin 
and 'Cello" in A minor. Op. 103, "Gipsy Songs," for 
Four Voices (S., A., T., B.) and Piano. These songs 
were written in the style of the Hungarian gipsy music, 
and are full of "go" and "swing." Op. 104, "Five 

79 



Brah 



ms 



Songs," for Mixed Voices. Op. 105, "Five Songs," for 
One Voice and Piano. Op. 106, "Five Songs," for One 
Voice and Piano. Op. 107, " Five Songs," for One Voice 
and Piano. Op. 108, "Sonata for Piano and Violin" 
in D minor. Op. 109, Three "Deutsche Fest- und 
Gedenkspriiche," for Double Chorus, a capella. Op. 
no, "Three Motets," for Four and Eight Voices. Op. 
Ill, "String Quintet," No. 2, in G major (with an un- 
usually prominent part for the Viola). Op. 112, "Six 
Gipsy Songs," for Four Voices, a capella. Op. 113, 
" Thirteen Canons," for Female Voices and Piano. The 
best of these is practically a transcription, in the canon 
form, of Schubert's song, " Der Leiermann." Op. 114, 
" Trio " in A minor, for Piano, Violin and Clarionet (or 
Alto). Op. 115, "Quintet for Clarionet and Strings" 
in B minor. Op. 116, "Fantasien," for Pianoforte. 
Op. 117, "Three Intermezzi," for Pianoforte. The first 
of these, a Slumber Song, was suggested by one of 
Herder's "Scotch Ballads," and bears the following 
motto : — 

" Schlaf sanft, mein Kind, schlaf sanft und schon, 
Mich dauert's sehr dich weihnen sehn." 

(Sleep lightly, my child, sleep peacefully, 
It grieves my heart thy tears to see.) 

Op. 118, "Six Piano Pieces." Op. 119, "Four Piano 
Pieces." Op. 120, "Two Sonatas," for Clarionet (or 
Alto) and Piano ; No. i in F minor, No. 2 in E flat. 
Op. 121, "Four Serious Songs" (Words from the 
Bible). 

80 



Biographical 



The last Italian journey (in 1893) was rather hastily 
planned when Brahms heard of preparations for a 
public celebration of his sixtieth birthday, 
and the party numbered four — two friends, The Last 
Hegar and Freund, accompanying him Italian 

and Widmann. They visited, besides the Journey 
places before mentioned, Milan, Naples, 
Sorrento and Sicily, paying a visit to the grave of 
Von Platen, the poet. 

Brahms' last great choral work was the " Deutsche 
Fest- und Gedenkspriiche," which was first given at an 
Industrial Exhibition in Hamburg, Sep- 
tember 1889, and then at Berne Cathedral '' Fest- und 
at a festival commemorating the seven Gedenk- 
hundredth anniversary of the city. Brahms spriiche " 
was invited to come from Ischl to conduct 
the performance, but declined, as he did not wish to 
make the long journey. The composition is patriotic 
in character, and consists of three large numbers 
for Double Chorus without solo or accompaniment. 
The first, " Our fathers trusted in Thee," refers to the 
Battle of Leipsic (18 13), in which the Fatherland 
regained its liberty. The second refers to the collapse 
of the French in the Franco-Prussian War at the Battle 
of Sedan (187 1). The third praises the splendour of 
the new united Empire. The work is deeply religious 
throughout. 

From 189 1 to 1893 Brahms was much at Mein 
ingen, where he was on terms of warm friendship with 
F 81 



Brah 



ms 



the Duke and Duchess. He was always a welcome guest 
at their Court, and often went there for per- 
Meiningen formances of his new compositions under the 
and direction of Steinbach. He also delighted 

Miihlfeld in the playing of Miihlfeld, the clarionetist, 
which will explain the great prominence 
given to the clarionet in the works of this period. 
Miihlfeld was a superlative artist who did much to 
make the clarionet works successful. Brahms insisted 
upon his being engaged to introduce them in England, 
where he won great renown both for himself and the 
works. 

Despite his dislike of display, Brahms enjoyed ap- 
pearing here in the full splendour of his many orders. 
As an evidence of the high esteem in which 
Royal he was held by the Duchess, she sent him a 

Friends pair of slippers embroidered by her own 
hands, and, knowing his dislike of letter- 
writing, and that his health was poor, she enclosed a 
post-card, all filled out, so that all he need do, to 
acknowledge receipt of the gift, was to sign and 
return it. 

In the fall of 1895, at the opening of the new Ton- 
halle at Zurich, Brahms conducted the " Triumphlied," 
several of his concerted works and songs 
Last Swiss being also given. Joachim, Hausmann, 
Trip Hegar and several others assisted in the 

performance. He was then still in perfect 
health, and spent the evening at the house of a 

82 



Biographical 



wealthy music-lover, laughing and joking with the 
young daughters of his host, and remaining until 
after midnight. Again, in March 1896, he planned an 
Italian trip, but was unable to carry it through. 

On May 20, 1896, came what proved to be Brahms' 
death-blow — Madame Schumann passed away. When 
he received the news he hastened at once to 
Frankfort to be present at the funeral, and Mada?ne 
it was to "a fit of anger" at missing his Schumanti's 
train — he would not admit that he ever Death 

became excited — that he attributed the 
illness which eventually proved fatal. This was an 
affection of the liver, from which his father had also 
died. Undoubtedly the shock of Madame Schumann's 
death had much to do both with bringing it on and 
with its fatal issue. Within a few weeks of his death he 
was assured by his physician that he might live many 
years, if only he would will to do so. 

Brahms at first made light of his illness, calling it 
"only a commonplace jaundice"; but as the disease 
became more serious, he requested of his 
physician and attendants, "On no account tell " Only a 
me anything unpleasant " ; so that the hope- Commoft- 
lessness of his condition was kept from him, place 

and he probably never knew until the end Jaundice " 
that he could not recover ; in fact, he had 
planned to spend the summer of 1897 at Carlsbad. In 
a letter of October 1896 he was still as cheerful as ever, 
and the last letter he ever wrote to Widmann (in 

83 



Brahms 

December 1896) showed no diminution in his good 
spirits. 

Though suffering, he took his daily walks almost to 
the last, and less than a month before his death he 
attended a concert of the Philharmonic 
Last Public Society. The programme began with the 
Appearance " Fourth Symphony," and at the end of the 
first movement every eye was turned toward 
the director's box, where Brahms was seated. A storm of 
applause swept the audience, which was only quieted 
when he arose and bowed his acknowledgments. Each 
successive movement was greeted with the same en- 
thusiasm. The entire assemblage was affected at sight 
of the master's altered face and figure, and his evident 
ignorance of the seriousness of his condition. Many felt 
that they were greeting him for the last time, which 
indeed proved to be the case. 

Herr Conrat tells us that during the last winter of his 
life Brahms left the house but seldom, and on the occa- 
sion of their last meeting, on March 25, 1897 
Failing (only ten days before his death), he strove to 
Health do the honours as usual, with great diffi- 

culty bringing forth the " renowned Brahms 
cigarettes " (very large and strong) from another room, 
and attempting to carry on a conversation. But the 
exertion had been too great : his head sank upon his 
breast, and he murmured, "There must be something 
in this" (meaning his illness). He was unable to 
resume the conversation, so Conrat quietly left after a 

84 



Biographical 



few minutes without disturbing him, and for the first 
time in their acquaintance of ten years Brahms was 
unable to see him to the door. 

His death occurred at Vienna early in the morning of 
Saturday, April 3, 1897. His last words, spoken a few 
hours before he died, to the nurse who had 
given him a drink, were, " I thank you." Death 

His body was interred in a suburb of Vienna, 
in the Centralfriedhof, near the remains of Mozart, 
Beethoven and Schubert. 

Up to the middle of his career it does not appear that 
his publications paid him very liberally. Concerning the 
" German Requiem," he said, "Just look at 
the score of the ' Requiem,' and you will see His Estate 
all the possible and impossible sizes of paper. 
At that time I never had enough money to buy a large 
quantity of paper; but now I have it a-plenty." In 
the latter part of his life he must have fared better than 
his great predecessors in the Austrian capital, for he left 
a matter of 80,000 dollars in the bank, besides other 
valuable effects. 

He died intestate : he had occasionally, in his later 
years, spoken of making a will, but looked upon that 
formality as an acknowledgment of old age 
His Heirs and the approach of death, neither of which 
seemed imminent ; for, up to the time of 
his last illness, he was the picture of robust health. It 
had been his wish to remember the Gesellschaft der 

85 



Brahms 

Musikfreunde, but as a result of the litigation which fol- 
lowed his death, it turned out that the Gesellschaft got 
only his books, autographs and musical manuscripts, 
while the bulk of his estate went to distant relatives 
(whom he heartily disliked). 

A statue to Brahms was unveiled in December 1899 

at Meiningen, Dr Joachim making an ad- 

Statue aiid dress ; and his house at Gmlinden, Salz- 

Museum kammergut, has been opened as a Brahms 

Museum, the doors and windows having been 

taken from the house in which he had lived at Ischl. 



86 



Brahms : The Man 

Physically, Brahms was a fine specimen of a man. 

"A stocky, compact figure— not exactly elegantly attired 

— with ruddy complexion indicating good 

health, slightly grey beard, walking with his Appear- 

hands folded behind his back." His head ance and 

was perhaps a trifle too large for his body, Health 

while his eyes were penetrating and full of 

fire and nobility of expression. His love of nature kept 

him much out of doors, especially as his physician 

advised walking to counteract his increase in weight 

after middle life. 

In the city he rarely omitted his daily walk on 
the Prater, the favourite promenade of Vienna, 
and even in late life Hanslick said, " He 
makes foot tours like a student and Walking 
sleeps like a child." When in the country and 

he was fond of climbing mountains. Alpine Mountain 
summits and glaciers had great attraction Climbing 
for him, also the welcome he was sure 
to find at Basel and Zurich, which accounted for his 
frequent trips to Switzerland. His tendency to corpu- 

87 



Brahms 

lency made the ascent somewhat difficult, but his down- 
hill pace was a merry one. " It was comical to see," 
says Conrat, "when we did any climbing in our trips 
that he did not want to admit that it caused him any 
inconvenience. 'Well, Conrat, now stop and take a 
look at this view,' he would say. I would take the hint, 
being well repaid in seeing how glad he was to gain a 
little rest." 

His appetite was vigorous, and he loved to sit with his 
friends in the Kneipe (restaurant) sipping his beer and 
wine or Kaffee, often until the small hours 
Appetite of the morning. When the weather per- 
and mitted, he always dined in the garden of 

Unconven- some restaurant, avoiding the table d'hote, 
tionality because it demanded a more conventional 
garb than he was accustomed to wear. (He 
was most at ease in summer-time in flannel shirt, with- 
out tie or stiff collar ; add to this the fact that he gener- 
ally carried his broad-brimmed soft hat in his hand 
rather than on his head, and it is evident what a striking 
figure he made.) He never visited England although 
often pressed to do so, because he was not well ac- 
quainted with the language and, because, as he said, 
"One has almost to live in a dress suit and white tie." 
In bad weather he frequently wore a brownish-grey 
shawl thrown around his shoulders and fastened in front 
with a huge pin. 

No one could come near Brahms without feeling a 
sense of his power. " His was one of the strongest 

88 



The Man 

personalities in the whole line of Masters of Music" 
(Maitland). Those who met him for the 
first time were invariably struck by the Fower/ul 
kindliness of his eyes — light blue, wonder- Person- 
fully keen and bright, with now and then a ality 

roguish twinkle and yet sometimes an almost 
childlike tenderness. This roguishness in his eyes 
correspontied to a quality of his mind — no doubt in- 
herited from his father, who had a keen sense of humour 
— good-natured sarcasm, and remarkable rapidity at re- 
partee. A great controversalist, he much preferred a 
conflict of opinions rather than that people out of 
respect for his powers and achievements should always 
agree with him. 

A pedantic musician from a very small Swiss town 
assured him that he knew all that he (Brahms) had ever 
written. Brahms motioned for silence, re- 
marking that the band was just then playing A Gungl 
something of his. The man listened, gaping March 

and with upturned eyes (it was a march by 
Gungl), while Brahms turned to the rest of the party and 
whispered in great glee, " Well fooled ! " 

Another musician introduced himself to Brahms, and 
to make conversation asked if he did not wear spectacles 
when conducting. (He was very near-sighted 
in middle life and very sensitive about it. Spectacles 
He used to say he escaped seeing many 
unpleasant things when in the street without his glasses, 
and that for him there were more beautiful women than 



Brahms 

for those whose keener sight destroyed the illusions.) 
Quick as a flash he replied — alluding to Schumann's 
"Faust," which had just been performed, — "Yes, my 
good fellow. Of course I put on my glasses whenever 
I see written on the score, ' Here women pass by.'" 

Brahms declared that he had had as a boy a beautiful 
soprano voice, but had spoiled it by too much singing 

while it was changing. In middle life his 
As a voice was " rough and almost cracked." At 

Singer a " Billroth Evening " of the Academic 

and Critic Society of Vienna (whose decoration he 

had received), he was an honoured guest 
and joined in singing all the student songs, which he 
had known and loved as a young man, as loudly as his 
"rough and almost cracked " voice would permit. He 
frequently attended the Sunday musicales of his friend, 
Professor Gausbacher, and would sometimes accompany 
one or two of the young girl pupils, but was always full 
of caustic witticisms which were likely to disconcert the 
singers. Aware of this, he said to Heuberger who wanted 
to show him some of his compositions, " I should be 
much interested to see them, but you mustn't be sensi- 
tive at what I say about them." 

Among his friends Brahms was of a genial, social 

disposition, full of kindness, loving com- 
A Genial panionship, and at heart a true gentleman. 
Friend He was at his best in the small circle of 

his intimate friends, witty, full of fun, good 
company, of a kind-hearted and generous disposition. 

90 



The Man 

On week days he was generally seen alone, but on 
Sundays he was usually accompanied on his pedestrian 
trips by a number of friends. On these occasions he 
was always in very good humour. He felt very much 
at home in Vienna, finding there many warm friends, 
but had a deep-seated hatred for everything French, and 
had never been in Paris. 

A man of strong personality, oblivious to criticism or 
censure, unmindful even of the praise of friends, he was 
eminently capable of carrying out his plans 
to their ultimate conclusions and awaiting Indiffer- 
results, striving ever without digression for ent to 

his ideal. He created to the best of his Criticism 
ability, then let his creations stand or fall 
on their own merits, unmindful of the reception ac- 
corded them. Even in his early days his simplicity, 
absolute straightforwardness, sincerity and calm self- 
reliance enabled him to meet triumphantly the coolness 
and indifference that for years were his lot. He was 
always intensely interested in his new works until they 
had been publicly performed; then he laid them aside, 
and it was almost impossible to get him even to mention 
them. For the opinions of outsiders he had the pro- 
foundest contempt, and was completely indifferent to 
journalistic verdicts. 

In his later years a brusqueness, which characterised 
him as a young man, wore off, and his manner became 
milder; even the sharp, stinging sarcasm, which his 
enemies knew so well, became a thing of the past. 

91 



Brahms 

His sturdy manliness was probably more or less an 

inherited trait, for it is related that once 
His when the conductor directed Brahms' father 

Father's not to play so loudly he replied with dignity, 
Brusque- " Herr Capellmeister, this is my contrabass, 
ness I want you to understand, and I shall play 

on it as loud as I please." 
Brahms had a deep-rooted dislike of all display of 
solemnity, a shyness of betraying his deepest feelings, 

that made him hide the inner workings of 
Disliked his heart under a mask of irony, sarcasm 
Emotional and seeming indifference. The illness and 
Display subsequent death of his most intimate friend, 

Dr Billroth, the eminent surgeon, deeply 
affected him ; yet, when he was buried and the company 
standing about were visibly much moved, Brahms was 
walking with a friend in another part of the cemetery, 
conversing about some unimportant topic lest he should 
give way to his feelings. Self-importance especially be- 
tween fellow-artists disgusted him, and when obliged 
to endure it he could be blunt almost to unkind- 
ness. 

On his first visit to Goetz at Winterthur he saw some 
freshly-written sheets of manuscript lying on Goetz's desk. 

Brahms stepped forward to look at it, saying, 
Goetz's " Ah ! Do you also sometimes amuse your- 
" Treasure'' self with such things?" (It was a piece of 

chamber music.) Goetz quickly spread his 
hands over the manuscript and said, in solemn tones, 

92 



cZ(^'~/><, 




OU^ ^-^ Vl^ iL4^ /r^^L^ 








Ul 





^-V/ 

^ " 



^/^ 7y/^" 



FACSliMlLK OF BRAHMS' HANUWKITING 



To face pa^e 92 



The Man 

" It is my most sacred treasure." Brahms turned im- 
patiently away, changed the conversation, and soon after 
took his leave. Each afterward found something blame- 
worthy in the conduct of the other, but the occurrence 
was really the result simply of incompatibility of char- 
acter and aim. They afterward became more or less 
friendly, but never really intimate. 

One day a Viennese composer, whose opera had been 
accepted in spite of its triviality, asked Brahms why he 
had never composed an opera. Brahms 
answered quietly, " The reason is very simple. Music for 
I believe that to be able to write for the the Theatre 
theatre one must possess a measure of 
stupidity. I feel that I lack the requisite amount." 

Even after his compositions had begun to be generally 
accepted, personal enmity and opposition followed him 
everywhere, so that it is not surprising that 
he should have won the reputation in certain So7ne 

quarters of being reserved and brusque, and Bright 

that his sharp wit made him feared. He Criticisms 
was the butt of many jokes, which he often 
answered in kind. Nietzsche, the philosopher, said of 
him, " Brahms is never more touching than when he 
sings of his own impotence." Old Hellmesberger, who 
was very anxious to shine as a wit, said, " A symphony 
of Brahms is like a soldier who presents himself before 
his lieutenant with the words, ' It is my duty to report, 
lieutenant, that I have nothing to report.'" 

On the other hand, Brahms took a rather peculiar 
93 



Brahms 

revenge on Rubinstein, who never played any of his 
(Brahms') compositions in concert. They 
Brahms often conversed upon many musical subjects, 
a7id but never in any way did Brahms say a word 

Rubinstein which might lead anyone to think that 
Rubinstein had ever given a concert. After 
the performance of Rubinstein's "Nero" a number of 
musicians were picking it to pieces. Brahms Ustened 
quietly for a while, then, shaking his head, said, "The 
character of ' Nero ' had been well comprehended " (by 
Rubinstein). " It was horrible music." 

His hatred of "kapellmeister music " was as strong as 

Wagner's. One composer played Brahms a composition, 

which has since been well received, and the 

Unfortim- sole comment he received was, "What beau 

ate tiful music paper you use ! Pray, where do 

Composers you get it ? " Another composer, who had 

made a setting of Schiller's " Lay of the Bell," 

upon playing it for Brahms, was told, " Yes, I have always 

thought this ' Glocke ' of Schiller's one of the greatest 

poems ever written, and I shall continue to hold that 

opinion." When told that a monument was 

Raff to be erected to Raff, he said, " A monument 

to Raff? Dear me ! Well, you had better 

be quick about it, lest he should be forgotten before you 

have got it ready." 

Brahms was sane on all subjects. He not only had 
clear ideas and firm principles in all concerning art 
and literature, but in other fields he showed clear in- 

94 



The Man 

sight and keen discrimination. An attentive observer 
of current events, he took an active interest 
in all the phenomena of life, natural, artistic, His Broad 
and even industrial. He was interested in Sympathies 
mechanics and farming, called birds by their 
names, imitated their notes and knew their habits. 
Every new and useful thing gave him pleasure, but 
for the unpractical he had no sympathy. Disliking the 
bicycle, he had yet the highest admiration for the 
progress of modern civilisation, which has given us 
the electric light, the telephone, the phonograph and 
kindred inventions. Nature and all concerning the 
animal world deeply interested him. Henschel relates 
that when walking along the road one day Brahms 
called out excitedly, " Look out ! look out ! You may 
kill it." It was a tumble-bug ! 

His themes of conversation seemed inexhaustible. 
He was a voluminous reader on all subjects, his tastes 
running to history and the standard authors 
rather than to novelties, and he liked to Profound 
go back time and time again to favourite Scholarship 
books and scenes. He greatly admired and 
respected most of the contemporary literary and artistic 
masters of his country, with many of whom he was per- 
sonally acquainted. 

With Brahms politeness and even kindliness did not 
cease with a certain rank or class, but only where, irre- 
spective of either, he thought he detected some in- 
sincerity. It was his habit to think well of everyone 

95 



Brah 



ms 



if he thought of him at all. He revelled in the sunshine, 

both physically and morally. In a letter to 
Kindliness Widmann he sent greetings to the family, 
to Servants naming especially the servant. He would 

sometimes turn his back on some " grande 
dame" and turn to the waiting-maid to address a 
friendly word to her. He spoke to Henschel with 
emotion of a serving-maid who had lost her position 
in order to shield a careless postman who, being 
married, could not afford to lose his. 

Naturally modest and unassuming, he was ever 
happiest amid simple surroundings, himself living, in 

the main, a life of Spartan simplicity ; full 
Modest and o^ tact, always pleasant and in excellent 
Tactful spirits, he was greatly beloved by all who 

knew him well. He could not flatter, and 
was not himself susceptible to flattery, nor was he lavish 
with praise. Deeply religious in an inexpressive way, 
he was in faith a liberal Protestant, but was ever careful 
not to wound the sensibilities of those with whom he 
came in contact. 

That Brahms had his human weaknesses is evident 
from the following excerpt from the Countess Potocka's 
Theodor Leschetizky : — 

"The Tonkunstlerverein . . . originated in 1881 in 
weekly meetings for the bringing together of artists and 
the production and discussion of new works. Latterly 
the society has devoted itself very largely to the works 
of Brahms, during his life always the greatest among us 

96 



The Man 

at the TonkUnstlerverein. Many times Brahms would 
join us when, as was customary, after the 
music, we repaired to a neighbouring re- The Ton- 
staurant, forming into groups at the small kiinstler- 
tables to discuss the evening's events. He verein 
was grave and rather ponderous in his 
manner. His voice was low, solemn, a little husky, 
but what he said was not devoid of wit and fun, and 
he had a very kind smile. No one is without a vul- 
nerable point. Brahms' weakness was his decorations ; 
he was vain of them, and liked to have them spoken 
of." 

Disliking all celebrations of public character, he was 
ever happy in any unexpected homage, being much 
gratified to find himself recognised and re- 
spectfully greeted wherever he chanced to Gipsy 
go. The numerous gardens in Vienna, Bands 
where gipsy bands played, especially at- 
tracted him, and it was delightful to see the increased 
spirit which they put into their music in the presence of 
the master who had done so much toward opening their 
beloved tunes to a wider sphere of popularity. In 
Italy he often fell in with gipsy bands, and always 
stopped to listen, and applauded lustily. Upon one 
occasion the leader recognised him, and instantly 
rapping for silence, passed the whispered word, and 
the band struck up one of Brahms' pieces, much to 
the latter's delight. 

Brahms hated to h&feied or made much of, avoiding, 
G 97 



Brahms 

if possible, all public demonstrations, and sometimes 
even those privately arranged by his friends. 
Sixtieth When he heard that festivities were being 
Birthday arranged for his sixtieth birthday he packed 
Celebration up his bag and hurried off to Italy. How- 
ever, a gold medal was struck and presented 
to him upon his return. He thanked the deputation as 
follows : " I really feel more ashamed of myself than 
overjoyed at this great honour which has been shown 
me. Thirty years ago it would have made me happy, 
and I would have felt it my duty to make myself 
worthy of such distinction, but now — it is too late." 
He also received many telegrams of congratulation 
upon this occasion — one from the Duke of Meiningen, 
which pleased him greatly. That he was not, however, 
entirely unmindful of his abilities is proven by the follow- 
ing remark made one day half in jest, have in earnest : 
" How they all come with music under their arms 
and desire to play their compositions for me. Poor 
music I do not care to hear, and if I wish to hear good 
music — I can compose that myself." 

"At no time has his manner to strangers or mere 
acquaintances been remarkable for urbanity; but, on 
the slightest suspicion of expressed admira- 
'' Lion- tion, he assumes a stony, or, rather, thorny 
hunter" impenetrability" (Maitland). It is related 
that at Baden-Baden he was approached by 
a " lion-hunter " as he lay under a tree in a garden. A 
little speech, evidently prepared beforehand and over- 



The Man 

loaded with flattery, was interrupted by Brahms, who 
said, " Stop, my dear sir. There must be some mistake 
here. I have no doubt you are looking for my brother, 
the composer. I'm sorry to say he has just gone out 
for a walk, but if you make haste and run along that 
path, through the wood, and up yonder hill, you may 
probably still catch him." 

A typical incident is related of him during his short 
stay at Gratz. A concert of church music was to be 
given by the Gratz Choral Society, and 
Brahms came to the last rehearsal. The Incident 
drilling took place in the choir of the at Gratz 
church late in the afternoon. The con- 
ductor began Bach's " Trauer Ode," when Brahms arose 
unnoticed, and, standing on the left near the organist, 
began to read the organ score, and somewhat casually 
turned over the leaves. Gradually it grew darker and 
darker, until the organist could no longer see the notes. 
Without a word Brahms took a piece of candle from his 
coat pocket, lighted it, and held it so as to help out the 
astonished organist to the end of the rehearsal. 

One writer, in summing up, says : " To Brahms was 
given Homeric simplicity, the primeval health of the 
well-balanced mind. He excels all his 
contemporaries in soundness and univer- Summing 
sality, frankness, modesty, simple and up 

homely virtue combined with the widest 
sympathy, most far - reaching intelligence, extreme 
catholicity and tolerance." 

99 



Brahms 

Letter - writing was ever burdensome to him ; the 
post card was his favourite sheet (!). In this connec- 
tion the following anecdote is apropos : An 
Letter- English publisher once, in an interview, 

writing suggested to Brahms the advantage of 
having his music published simultaneously 
in England and Germany, especially as in England 
there had grown up a considerable Brahms cult. 
Brahms admitted the advisability of the project, but 
declined to go into it, because he would then have to 
write two letters instead of one for each work issued. 
This interview took place in Hamburg, where he was 
temporarily sojourning. To show that there was no 
hard feeling on his part, Brahms was very cordial to 
the Englishman and his companion, taking them all 
over the city to see the sights, and insisting upon 
paying all the bills himself. 

This English anecdote leads naturally to another. In 
1887 Brahms was invited to write a new work for the 
Leeds Festival. His reply was character- 
Leeds istic : "Should you deem one of my old 

Festival works worthy of the honour of being per- 
formed on this occasion, it would be a 
great pleasure to me. But if this is, as it appears, not 
the case, how may I hope that I shall succeed this time. 
If, however, the charm of novelty be an absolute neces- 
sity, then pardon me if I confess that I fail properly 
to appreciate, or have no sympathy with such a dis- 
tinction." 

100 



The Man 

Naturally Brahms received many visits from conduc- 
tors, young composers, lady pianists, and the like. By 
years of experience he had acquired the art of 
turning them away without letting them touch Autograph 
the piano. Autograph hunters were another Hunters 
source of annoyance, but they seldom out- 
witted him. One German lady at Cape Town, South 
Africa, year after year, with the greatest perseverance, 
wrote Brahms ordering " one of your far-famed Viennese 
pianofortes," but never received a reply. On one occa- 
sion an especially crafty fellow sent Brahms a telegram 
as follows : " Your order for ten dozen rapiers, genuine 
Solingen make, will be despatched in a day or two. We 
take the liberty of obtaining payment through the post- 
office." Brahms stuck the message in his pocket and 
waited for the rapiers. Needless to say, they never came. 

He was devoted to children — a child himself when 
with them. One evening while visiting at Berne he 
lifted Widmann's little five-year daughter on 
his back and trotted her merrily all through Devotion 
the city, not in the least disturbed by the to 

wondering looks of the passers-by. A young Children 
American lady, travelling in Europe in 1895, 
wrote home : " We saw Johannes Brahms on the hotel 
verandah at Domodossola, and what do you think ! He 
was down on all fours, with three children on his back, 
riding him for a horse." When dining at a hotel or 
restaurant he seldom left the table without filling his 
pockets with sweets to give to some poor child. He 



Brah 



ms 



had special sympathy for the children of the poor. He 
always regretted that the Swiss children could not pro- 
perly understand his North German dialect, and there- 
fore could not chat with him as freely as he would 
have liked. He would stop anywhere in the street to 
speak with children, and when he became known to 
them they would follow him about in groups, shy, yet 
eager to attract his notice. 

Until late in life Brahms invariably refused to sit for 
his portrait, even his friend, Anselm Feuerbach, being 

unable to shake his determination. Once, 
Portraits while he was visiting at Kandersteg, Wid- 
and a mann's summer home, the latter, thinking 

Subterfuge to outwit him, had an artist come to the 

house, ostensibly to paint his (Widmann's) 
little daughter. When the time came for the sitting she 
was placed in a direct line with Brahms, so that the 
artist, in seeming to look at the little girl, could be 
taking in his features. The artist set to work, but had 
not proceeded far before Brahms saw through their 
ruse, and excused himself on the ground that he did 
not like to inflict cigarette smoke upon the ladies and 
children (he was already upon his fifth or sixth). He 
quietly left the room, and remained upon the verandah 
until the artist had gotten well along on a portrait of the 
child, which had been decided upon at the last minute. 
Later in life he, in a large measure, got over this anti- 
pathy, and one etching particularly, Klinger's '■^Brahms 
Fantasias'''' (an imaginative reproduction of the "In- 



The Man 

termezzi and Fantasias," for Piano), gave him keenest 
delight. 

Amateur photographs, especially snap-shots of him 
taken without his knowledge, gave him 
great pleasure. Perhaps the best of these Amateur 
was by Frau Fellinger of Vienna, whose Portraits 
house was a true home for Brahms in his — and 

last years. One of his peculiarities was Mirrors 
that he did not use a mirror, urging as a 
reason that he saw his face so often in pictures that he 
had no need of one. 

Brahms was very partial to the Summer Theatre on 
the Schanzli, where operas and operettas were frequently 
given, mostly with piano accompaniment. 
He never missed a performance of Johann Admirer 
Strauss' Die Fliedermaus. His admira- of Johann 
tion for Strauss was genuine, for on Strauss 
one occasion at a social gathering, where 
the musical friends of Madame Johann Strauss were 
writing upon her fan their names, with phrases from 
their works, Brahms wrote the opening measures of the 
"Beautiful Blue Danube Waltzes," and underneath it, 
" Not, I regret to say, by your devoted friend, Johannes 
Brahms." Strauss' band in the Volksgarten was among 
Brahms' most constant enjoyments. 

Brahms has been somewhat maligned as being quick- 
tempered, but certainly the testimony of those who 
knew him well would prove the contrary. Unquestion- 
ably he was genial in his personal relations, of a naturally 



Brah 



ms 



cheerful disposition, and never took himself too seri- 
ously. Leaning out of the window in the 
Cheerful sunshine, and stroking his flowing beard, 
Disposi- he one day called out to Dietrich, " See, I 
Hon am trying to run opposition to Michael 

Angelo's 'Moses.'" He would go sing- 
ing or whistling along the road in early morning, 
hat in hand, always with a kindly greeting for those he 
met. For more than twenty years he lived in the same 
quiet house on the same quiet street, with very few 
social pleasures excepting the fortnightly meetings of 
the Tonkiinstlerverein. 

After his father's death he supported his step- 
mother, and also his brother Frederick, 
Not inti- who died in 1886, but otherwise had no 
mate with intercourse with him or with his sister 
Family Elise, who died in 1892, with both of 
whom he had little in common. 
Brahms' attitude towards his art and its great masters 
was always one of greatest reverence, Bach being pro- 
bably highest in his esteem. An illustration 
""A Bottle very much to the point is afforded by an 
of Bach''' anecdote related by Henschel. In 1876 
Brahms was the guest of the owner of a fine 
vineyard, famous for the quality of its wine. At table a 
member of the party, meaning to compliment both the 
host and the guest of honour, remarked, "Yes, gentle- 
men, what Brahms is among composers this Rauenthaler 
is among the wines." Quick as a flash Brahms spoke 

104 



The Man 

up, "Ah! Then let us have a bottle of Bach 
now." 

He had a warm affection for Haydn, and spent much 
time analysing the latter's symphonies. So devoted was 
he to Beethoven that he used religiously to 
frequent the old restaurant in the Wildmarkt Haydn and 
where Beethoven used to dine. He pos- Beethoven 
sessed many valuable autographs, among 
them that of Mozart's G minor Symphony and Schu- 
bert's "Wanderer." 

Dr Hanslick says that during their long and intimate 
friendship Brahms never referred to his 
(Hanlick's) many critiques on his work, Hafisltck's 
though one day he quietly surprised him Critiques 
with the dedication of the " Four-hand 
Waltzes " (Op. 39). 

Brahms had a great talent for teaching, and, in the 
opinion of Heuberger, would have made an excellent 
teacher for advanced pupils. It seems that 
he would have been willing to establish an Brahms 
" Advanced School of Composition " at the as a 

Vienna Conservatory, such as had long been Teacher 
in existence at the Academy of Plastic Arts. 
When the question was raised as to his being able to 
find time for such work, he remarked, "The few notes 
which I write during the winter are of absolutely no 
importance." 

One time he said to Henschel, " I am not at all 
ashamed to own that it gives me great pleasure if a 

105 



Brahms 

song or an adagio, or anything of mine, has turned out 

to be particularly good. What I cannot 
True understand is how people like myself can be 

Modesty vain." He often said, " One can never hope 

to get upon the level of such giants as Bach 
and Beethoven. One can only work conscientiously in 
one's own field." 

Brahms worked slowly, letting his ideas germinate 
and take their own time in arranging themselves. " Let 

it rest," was his advice to a young composer. 
Worked " Let it rest, and keep going back to it and 
Sloivly working at it over and over again until it is 

completed as a finished work of art; until 
there is not a note too much or too little, not a measure 
you could improve upon. Whether it is beautiful 2X%Q> 
is an entirely different matter, but perfect it must be. 
You see I am lazy, but I never cool down over a work 
once begun, until it is perfected, unassailable. One 
ought never to forget that by actually perfecting one 
piece one learns more than by beginning or half-finishing 
ten." 

At another time he said, "Do you suppose that my 
songs occur to me ready-made and all polished? I 

have tormented myself in curious ways over 
" Whistle them. Do you know — but do not take 
a Song" this too literally — that you must be able to 

whistle a song, then it is good. . . . The 
feeling to be expressed is of the first importance ; the 
medium is secondary." 

1 06 



The Man 

It will be seen that Brahms was glad to advise and 
help young musicians, and paid great atten- 
tion to the smallest details in criticising, Helping 
even to the musical hand-writing. In this Young 

connection it might be profitable to repeat Musicians 
some advice which he gave to a young com- 
poser as follows : — 

" You must practise more gymnastics, four-part songs, 
variations, etc." 

" In writing songs, you must endeavour Advice to 
to invent simultaneously with the melody a Beginners 
healthy, powerful bass." 

"No heavy dissonances on the unaccented part of 
the measure, please." 

The following remark made to a singer is interesting, 
and may call forth more protest than any of the fore- 
going : " As far as I am concerned, a 
thinking, sensible singer may, without hesi- Liberties 
tation, alter a note which for some reason with Corn- 
ox other is out of his compass into one positions 
which he can reach with comfort, provided 
always the declamation remains correct and the accentua- 
tion does not suffer.'' 

His aim in all his works was the attainment of har- 
monious beauty, combined with perfect form 
and purity of feeling, transfiguring everything, Manner of 
even the commonplace into a lofty and peace- Composing 
ful calm. In his music emotion is not ex- 
cluded, it is regulated. It was his habit to work inde- 

107 



Brahms 

fatigably, but with no haste or impatience. All his life 
he is said to have written a contrapuntal exercise each 
day. His assimilative faculty was enormous. He de- 
scribed his manner of composing as follows: "When I 
have found the first phrase of a song, I might shut the 
book then and there, go for a walk, do some other work, 
and perhaps not think of it again for months. Nothing, 
however, is lost. If I afterward approach the subject 
again, it is sure to have taken shape. I can now really 
begin to work at it." 

Brahms was a man of clear ideas and firm principles, 
not only in all that concerned art and literature, but 
also in other fields of thought. His in- 
Musicfor tellectual horizon was wide, his mental 
the Masses vision clear and healthy, his judgment sane 
on all subjects, therefore it is not to be 
wondered at that he was no visionary in his art theories. 
This is evident from his sympathy with the omnipresent 
Maennerchor (men's choruses) and brass bands, on the 
ground that they are the most convenient form in which 
the common man can acquire his musical education. 
His attitude towards this and several kindred subjects is 
well expressed by a letter which he wrote to Widmann 

about ten years before his death : — 
Temper- "Your zeal against male choruses and 

ance brass bands reminds me of the temperance 

Societies societies which occasionally ask me for sym- 
pathy. But I have none. It is so easy to 
deprive the poor man of his oft sorely-needed dram. I 

1 08 



The Man 

should be much in their favour if such societies had 
the object and power of procuring compensation for him 
by making wine, beer and coffee cheaper. 

"Now, male choruses and the modern brass instru- 
ments are convenient for the common man ; 
everything else is to be approached more Male 

cautiously and learned earlier. Unfortun- Choruses 
ately, amongst the so-called better classes a a^id Brass 
fondness for any other instrument but the Bands 

piano seems to be almost non-existent. 

"It is very desirable that parents should let their 
children learn other instruments — violin, 
'cello, flute, clarionet, horn, etc. (this would Too much 
also be the means of arousing interest in all Piano 

sorts of music). 

" But there could be more and better work done for 
singing in the schools, as also by letting boys commence 
the violin very early. ... I have often seen 
that done in Austrian villages. The sing- Singing in 
ing of the Mass in Catholic churches is also the Schools 
far from stupid. To sing at sight in all 
keys, and to be intimate with fugues ! . . ." 

At another time Brahms wrote to Widmann : " With 
marriage it is as with opera. If I had already composed 
an opera and, for all I care, seen it fail, I 
would certainly write another, but I can't Concerning 
make up my mind to a first opera or a first Marriage 
marriage." And still another time, " I have 
missed my chance. At the time I wished for it I could 

109 



Brah 



ms 



not offer a wife what I should have felt was right. 
I sometimes regret that I did not marry. I ought to 
have a boy of ten now ; that would be nice. But when 
I was of the right age for marrying I lacked the position 
to do so, and now it is too late. At the time when I 
should have liked to marry my music was either hissed 
in the concert rooms or at least received with icy cold- 
ness. Now, for myself I could bear that quite easily, 
because I knew its worth, and that some day the tables 
would be turned. And when after such failures I 
entered my lonely room I was not unhappy. On the 
contrary ! But if in such moments I had had to meet 
the anxious questioning eyes of a wife, with the words, 
' Another failure,' I could not have borne that. For a 
woman may love an artist whose wife she is ever so 
much, and even do what is called believe in her hus- 
band, still she cannot have the perfect certainty of 
victory which is in his heart. And if she had wanted 
to comfort me — a wife to pity her husband for his non- 
success — ugh ! I cannot think what a hell that would 
have been, at least to me ... It has been for the 
best," he added. 

However, the subject was not a painful one with 

him, for it was his habit to inform inquiring ladies, 

" It is my misfortune still to be unmarried, 

Unmarried thank God ! " Widmann, who now resides in 

Rome, also relates the following anecdote : — 

" I had a cook who possessed the melodious name of 
Mora. No other woman in Rome could equal her 

no 



The Man 

palatable preparation of cauliflower and/^w/ (^0x0. My 
friend Brahms and the noted surgeon Billroth paid me 
a visit one day, and I invited them to a Roman break- 
fast which was prepared by Mora inimitably. The wine 
was good, and Billroth, raising his glass, cried out 
enthusiastically, ' Oh ! Horace hath quaffed these 
draughts ! ' Brahms, however, who was busy analysing 
the food, fell into a reverie, and after some time re- 
marked that it might be his duty to select a wife who 
could cook in such excellent style as Mora. 'This 
girl should really be married,' he repeated as his 
good humour increased. I then took the liberty, 
by way of a joke, of calling the girl out of the 
kitchen, and telling her that I had found a suitor for 
her hand. 

" ' Who is he ? ' asked Mora, anxiously. 

" ' This renowned German artist here. He ought to 
suit you, for you also love music and sing all day like a 
lark.' 

" Mora's reply was startling. She measured Brahms 
from head to foot, and answered with the utmost 
hauteur, ' I am a Roman, born on the 
Ponte Rotto, near the Temple of Vesta '■' Bar- 

. . . I shall never marry a Bar- barian" 
barian ! ' " 

Hugo Conrat, of London, who knew Brahms in- 
timately during the last ten years of his life, says that 
he felt the loneliness of his bachelorhood very keenly 
at times. "Yes, you lucky fellow," he would often 



Brah 



ms 



exclaim, "you are going to the bosom of your family, 
while I, poor, lonesome bachelor ! . . ." 

As is well known, Brahms never wrote an opera, 
possibly because he never found a libretto to his taste, 

but there is no doubt that he contem- 
Fond of the plated writing one or more. He was an 
Theatre indefatigable theatre-goer, never missing the 

first performance of any play of importance 
in Vienna, and possessed extraordinary dramatic in- 
stinct, pathos particularly affecting him. He was moved 
to tears by the nobility of sentiment in Goethe's 
Geschwister, which he saw in Vienna with Widmann 
in 1 88 1. For opera he seemed to care less, for he 
often left after the first act, urging as his excuse, 
"You know I understand nothing about the theatre." 
During the last twenty years of his life he generally 
avoided operatic performances entirely, though he was 
always eager when speaking of subjects relating to the 
theatre. 

He believed that it was not only unnecessary but 
positively harmful and inartistic to compose music for 

an entire drama ; only the climaxes should 
Theories be so treated, or those parts where words 
concern- alone would not suffice to express the mean- 
ing Opera ing. He considered it great presumption to 

expect music to accompany purely dramatic 
dialogue throughout several acts. He felt that by con- 
fining the music to special parts of the operas, the 
librettist gains more time and freedom for the dramatic 

112 



The Man 

development and the composer is enabled to devote 
himself exclusively to the demands of his art. 

Nevertheless, the idea of an opera haunted him for 
a long time, for early in his career he spoke 
about a very curious text for an opera, and Operatic 
later asked Widmann to look over Gozzi's Possi- 

dramatic fables and farces, especially " Konig bilities 

Hirsch" and " Der Rabe." "Das laute 
Geheimniss " also interested him in Gozzi's version. 

Widmann read " Konig Hirsch " over carefully, and 
wrote to Brahms expressing doubts as to the possibility 
of using it for an opera libretto, but still 
was entirely ready to go ahead if Brahms "Konig 
so wished. In November 1877 Brahms Hirsch" 
wrote back, " I am waiting in vain for a 
quiet moment in which to think over your suggestions. 
In the meantime I must at least send you my heartiest 
thanks. ... As for me, I have so often vowed never 
again to think of a libretto — that I should be so easily 
tempted thereto ! But my inertia in the matter has 
certainly increased though I cannot say whether it has 
done so in other respects ! So it would really be wiser 
for you not to think of me at all, still it would be nice 
if the subject interested you and you gave it some 
further thought. ... I should at first chiefly think of 
the Dialogue and Secco-Recitative — or rather at present 
it would seem a matter of indifference to me how the 
action was developed except in emotional climaxes. 
"At all events let us both think the matter over until 
H 113 



Brahms 

the spring, when I shall be free to choose where to spend 
the summer. If you can spare the time let me know 
what ideas you have." 

In the next year Widmann sent the outline of a 
libretto to Vienna, but received no reply until after the 
appearance of the Second Symphony (in November 1878). 
" Oh ! Konig Hirsch ! He is still lying on my table ! 
I do not deserve it, but have you occasion- 
"■ Konig ally given it a thought? Heartiest greet- 
Hirsch " ings and don't be angry with your Johannes 
Defunct Brahms." 

Here the matter ended. 
Some years later Widmann again wrote him that it 
had been reported that they were collaborating on an 
opera. Brahms replied under date of Janu- 
Marriage ary 7, 1888, "Have I never told you of 
and my good resolutions, father of my Johanna ? " 

Opera (Widmann's daughter whom Brahms also 

called his bride). "Amongst these to try 
neither an opera again nor marriage. Otherwise, I 
think I should immediately undertake two (that is 
operas) 'Konig Hirsch' and 'Das laute Geheimniss.' 
Of the latter I have even a libretto ready, made years 
ago by that same engraver in copper, Allgeier, who has 
now written those good essays on Feuerbach. Now if 
you, dear friend, have downright liberal views and 
principles, you will easily see how much money I save 
and can spare for a journey in Italy — if in the summer 
I neither marry nor buy a libretto." He several times 

114 



The Man 

later alluded to opera, and always had a soft spot in his 
heart for the plays named, but the matter never went 
any further. 

Brahms' theories concerning the music drama were 
of course diametrically opposed to those of Wagner, for 
whom, however, he had great admiration 
and appreciation. He especially admired As a 

Wagner's lofty aims, and spoke of his music Wagnerite 
dramas as " Great works, so ideally con- 
ceived and executed." He called himself, "The best 
of Wagnerites," and rejoiced in the honours showered 
upon Wagner, believing that the position of every 
musician had been raised by them. Hanslick, the 
great Viennese critic, states that Brahms' comprehen- 
sion of Wagner's scores was probably more profound 
than that of any other man, Wagner himself only 
excepted, and that he often heard Brahms defend 
Wagner against hostile criticism. 

Wagner, on the other hand, could find no good word 
to say about Brahms, but once said of him, " Brahms 
is a composer whose importance lies in his 
not wishing to create any striking effects." Wagner 
Wagner treated his contemporaries with the as a 

greatest animosity, and was particularly Brahmsite 
caustic towards Brahms' works. Once when 
someone reported some fresh sarcasm of Wagner to 
Brahms, he exclaimed, "Good heaven! Wagner 
honoured and triumphant, takes up most of the high 
road. How can I, going my own modest way, be any 

115 



Brahms 

interference or annoyance to him ? Why cannot he 
leave me in peace since we are never likely to clash ? " 

He one day showed Heuberger Wagner's own manu- 
script of Tannhduser, and pointing to the second act 

said, "Just look at this. Wagner has written 
Praise of the five sharps with painful accuracy on 
Wagner each staff of every page, and in spite of 

the precision the handwriting is free and 
flowing. If he could write it so neatly it would not 
hurt you to do so also. . . . What nonsense ! Those 
who have gone somewhat astray through his influence 
have done so through their own misinterpretation of 
Wagner; of the true Wagner they know absolutely 
nothing. Wagner has as clear a head as ever there 
was in the world." (Brahms was severe in reproof but 
warm in praise, as is evident from these few remarks. 
The first was the result of his tremendous seriousness ; 
the second of his unusual kindness of heart.) 

For all his admiration of Wagner, Brahms could not 
always agree with him, nor did he invariably praise. 

Concerning the " Ring " he said, " I myself 
Attitude must confess that Die Walkilre and Das 
towards Goiterdcimmerufig have a great hold on 
Wagner me. For Das Rheitigold and Siegfried I do 

not particularly care." Of some parts of 
Siegfried he said at another time, " I am sure nobody 
would see anything particular in it if one of us had 
written it. . . . And those endless duets ! " For 
Tristan he had a particular dislike, saying, " If I look 

ii6 



The Man 

at that in the morning I am cross for the rest of the 
day." But, in spite of differences of opinion such as 
these, the Viennese master never failed to express his 
profound respect for his great rival, the magnitude of 
whose intentions and his energy in carrying them out 
calling forth his unbounded praise. Many ardent Wag- 
nerites have accused Brahms of jealousy, but the charge 
cannot be proven. The consensus of opinion among 
his intimates is that he envied no one. He felt secure 
in his own position, and was of too noble a mind to 
begrudge others their success. 

He was loud in his praises of Mozart's Figaro, and 
spoke of the works of the great masters with deepest 
veneration, but with his contemporaries he 
was as stern a judge as with himself. P'or Mozart 
Verdi he felt genuine admiration. Upon atid Verdi 
once hearing Von Biilow speak in disparaging 
terms of Verdi's "Requiem," Brahms went immediately 
to Hug's music store (Zurich), and, obtaining the piano 
score, read it through. When he had finished it he said, 
" Billow has made a fool of himself for all time : only a 
genius could have written that." 

The unfortunate Goetz, whose first meeting with 
Brahms was rather unpropitious, died at an early age, 
of consumption. His posthumous opera, 
Francesca da Rimini, was first performed at Goetz's 

Mannheim in September 1877. Brahms Opera 

journeyed all the way from Vienna to this 
first performance, thus showing the deep sympathy he 

117 



Brahms 

felt with the ideal aspirations and tragic fate of this pro- 
mising young composer. 

Hanslick says of him : " Brahms, who supports with 
word and deed every serious ambition of a pronounced 
talent — unnoticed, silently as Schumann used to do — 
procured a publisher for Dvofak, whose modesty amounts 
to bashfulness." 




SILHOUETTE OK BRAHMS 



ii8 



Brahms : The Musician 

As a musician Brahms attained first rank in every 
department toward which he directed his 
energies, and his activities included practi- His 

cally every field of musical endeavour, except Versatility 
dramatic composition. 

As pianist, conductor and composer of vocal, piano, 
chamber and orchestral music, his mastership is undis- 
puted. As an exponent of absolute music 
he stands as probably the most heroic figure Exponent 
of the nineteenth century, after Beethoven, of Absolute 
The term "absolute music" may be mis- Music 

leading. Brahms' contention was that music 
ought to be so true to life that no words or programme 
are necessary to explain its meaning. If they are neces- 
sary, it is a confession that music falls short of the ideal. 
There have been others of his contemporaries who may 
have rivalled him in particular directions, 
but none outshone him, and no one achieved Much in 
such high standing along so many lines, or Common 
attained to such colossal mastery of the with 

technique of expression. Having much in Browning 
common with Browning, in that he deals 
with the larger, deeper emotions which are less intelligible 
to the masses, his works are marked by a dramatic 
intensity resulting from terseness of expression, which 

119 



Brah 



ms 



seems at times almost harsh. No modern composer has 
expressed deeper or more fervent feelings, either jubi- 
lant or sad, than Brahms. He was a composer "in the 
grand style." ^ " Since Beethoven we hardly find anyone 
so free from all that is trite and commonplace in his 
music ; no artist possesses in so great a degree the virtue 
of self-restraint, or is so averse to all that fascinates by 
merely external or transient attractions." 

Brahms is thoroughly modern, but is never a revolu- 
tionist ; his works are a " modern conservative force in 

music." "While we have a warrior like 
Thoroughly Wagner to slay the dragon of Philistinism, 
Modern we have a genius like Brahms to give modern 

significance to classical forms." To him art 
was something sacred, worthy of his highest effort and 
noblest purpose. His work from the beginning is naive 
and simple, and displays no reformatory tendencies ; it 
is remarkable for its power and energy, and its consistent 
adherence to the main idea. 

His music always shows the chastening control of his 
massive intellect. His earlier works exhibit romantic 

tendencies, a leaning towards the " music of 
Early the future " — in this vein he was earnestly 

Works commended by Liszt — and are character- 
Romantic ised by an over-maturity, a leaning toward 
in Tendency over-display of erudition, which disappeared 

in his works beginning with Op. ii (which 
is sometimes said to mark the beginning of his "second 

' " The real epic touch, the white Alpine subHtnity of Beethoven's 
Mass in D, or Brahms' Schicksalslied." — Hadow. 



The Musician 

period "). Ample and effective use of syncopations, a 
peculiar style of accompaniments, bold modulations and 
rhythmic devices, and occasionally even some pro- 
grammatic suggestions, occur in his first work. His 
growth was toward clearness and the abandonment of 
those characteristics least pleasing to superficial hearers. 
It is significant that thirty years after its first pubhcation 
Brahms recomposed Op. 8 (Trio for Piano, Violin 
and 'Cello), and the corrections in nearly every case 
took the form of simplifications. His character through- 
out is marked by a native ruggedness, and it was prob- 
ably this trait which enabled him to live so long in 
Vienna without losing his individuality. There is a 
vein of reposeful, reflective humour, which corresponds 
to the dry wit of literary art, which is Brahms' very own. 

Brahms is a master of detail — in fact, he is more 
detailed and minute than any other master.^ This, with 
his great command of the resources of 
counterpoint, has earned him the title of Master of 
" Modernised Bach," a title which, if it had Detail 

not offended him as smacking of flattery, 
would have pleased him very much. Until the time of 
his death it could be said that his influence was deeply 
rather than widely felt ; but since that event there has 
been a great spread of both his influence and apprecia- 
tion, so that there is to-day almost as strong a Brahms' 
cult in England and America as in Germany itself. 

As a pianist he attained first rank. He was a virtuoso 

' " Brahms is a poet, intent on weaving a network of beautiful 
thoughts around his ideal." — Hadow. 

121 



Brahms 

of great power and brilliant technique. His execution 
of Bach, especially the organ works on the 
As a piano, was unrivalled among his contempor- 

Pianist aries. He played not so much to the 
listeners as for himself, appearing as if in- 
spired, his great technique being always a secondary 
consideration. One who heard him play his D minor 
Concerto, when still in his prime, described the perform- 
ance as wonderful. " He would lift his hands up high, 
and let them come down with a force like that of a 
lion's paw." Another says: "His playing is powerful 
and soft, full of pith and meaning, and never louder 
than it is lovely." 

This force which always characterised his playing 
later degenerated into something not quite so admirable, 
as Dr William Mason writes about a per- 
His formance in 1880: "Brahms' playing was 

Playing in far from finished or even musical. His tone 
18S0 was dry and devoid of sentiment, his inter- 

pretation inadequate, lacking style and con- 
tour. It was the playing of a composer and not a 
virtuoso. He paid little, if any, attention to the marks 
of expression upon the copy. The continued force and 
harshness of tone quite overpowered the string instru- 
ments." For all that, the fact remains that so long as 
he continued to appear upon the concert platform, 
Brahms' playing always gave pleasure to his audiences, 
and he was invariably greeted with enthusiasm. 

As a conductor Brahms was most inspiring, leading 
122 



The Musician 

with firmness and authority, and spurring on those 

under his baton to their best efforts. 

" Both as performer and conductor he As a 

always appeared as if inspired, and in- Conductor 

spiring everybody who sang or played 

under him or listened. At the pianoforte or desk he 

was a king, but socially unaffected and easy, neither 

reticent nor predominating in conversation, jolly and 

kind among friends and children." 

Brahms was the last great composer of the classical 
school.' In spite of strong modern tendencies, he was 
utterly opposed to the so-called " New 
German School." He stood for the system- Last Great 
atic principle of musical form. In style Classical 
and construction he displayed a power now Composer 
quite unique. He was always a master, 
never drawn from the main idea, in spite of the wealth 
of episode and secondary thought. Music to him was 
so entirely a means of expression that he made mere 
sensuous beauty a secondary consideration, always sub- 
ordinate to the thought to be expressed. Hence a lack 
of grace and a density which often characterise his 
compositions. His work was wonderfully condensed, 
his constructive power masterly. By his scholarly de- 
velopment of themes he seems to be introducing new 
thematic material, when the fact is he is gradually un- 
folding and expanding the possibilities of the original 
theme to the uttermost. His treatment is exhaustive 

■ " Few compositions are perfect unless they have been signed by 
Beethoven or Brahms." — Hadow. 



Brahms 

and complete, especially in his later pianoforte composi- 
tions. In all that relates to the intellectual faculty 
Brahms is indisputably a master, though he sometimes 
exhibits a lack of feeling for the purely sensuous side 
of music — for clear, rich tone combinations. 

With the exception of Wagner, Brahms was pre- 
eminent among the musicians of his time 
Climax of for the definite nature of his individuality. 
Modern He appeared as the climax of modern 
Musical musical thought, standing, as it were, upon 
Thought the shoulders of Schumann, whose musical 
character he seems to have inherited to 
a great extent. 

Spitta says: "No musician was better read in his 
art, or more constantly disposed to appropriate all that 
was new, especially all newly - discovered 
Spitta^s treasures of the past. His passion for 
Estimate learning wandered, indeed, into every field, 
and resulted in a rich and most original 
culture of mind, for his knowledge was not mere 
acquirement, but became a living and fruitful thing." 

Ferris says of him : " The perfect blending of intel- 
lect with emotion, of modern feeling and sympathy with 
old-fashioned conscience, thoroughness and symmetry 
of form, belong to Brahms alone among modern com- 
posers." Maitland writes : " No composer has invented 
lovelier melodies, or set them in more delightful sur- 
roundings. His music is marked by a felicitous com- 
bination of intense earnestness of aim and nobility, of 

124 



The Musician 

ideal with the passionate ardour that is characteristic of 
Southern countries." 

By the average Ustener many of his works have been 
regarded as uninteUigible. Even among cultivated 
musicians he has been severely criticised as 
lacking in melodic invention, a criticism Repeated 
that the most superficial study alone could Hearing 
justify. His fertility of invention and atten- necessary 
tion to detail was so great, and he wove his 
melodies so intricately, that many hearings are necessary 
to discover the real contents of his works. Within the 
past generation this has come to be much more gener- 
ally understood, until now intelligent musicians regard 
his works as among the loftiest and most spiritual con- 
ceptions that have ever been expressed in musical forms. 

As Oscar Bie says of Brahms: "He worked in the 
world of tone with no trace of virtuosity, with not a 
suspicion of concession to the understand- 
ing of the mere amateur. There has, in our No Con- 
time, been no music written so free from cessions 
the slightest condescension." "Stubborn, 
at times repellent, even in her smiles not very gracious, 
his music seeks to make no proselytes; but whomso- 
ever she wins as a friend she holds fast, and allows that 
rarest of pleasure — the pursuit of lofty aims and the 
quiet rapture of a student." 

As a symphonist Brahms ranks among the greatest.^ 
His command of the technique of composition was 

'"The great symphonic writers, Beethoven, Brahms and 
Mozart." — Hadow. 

125 



Brahms 

absolute, his sense of rhythm perfect. No other com- 
poser has introduced so many innovations 
Sense of of melody and harmony and rhythm ; no 
Rhythm other composer has ever exhibited so 
great variety of rhythm. Not a virtuoso in 
orchestration, he clothed his thoughts in the language 
best suited to their expression. Colour plays a second- 
ary part with him, hence the instrumentation often 
seems gray and subdued beside that of more vivid 
colorists; but for all that he is a master at "musical 
landscape painting," and, in his Gipsy Rondo, Gipsy 
Songs, and similar compositions, has at his command 
a wealth of "local colour." His thought is essentially 
orchestral in style. Von Biilow says of him : " In Bach 
we always hear the organ ; in Beethoven, the orchestra ; 
in Brahms, both organ and orchestra." 

The Symphony in D (No. 2) is strongly marked with 
Brahms' own individuality. The Fourth seems in a 
measure a return to romanticism. It dis- 
Character- plays those rare combinations of intellect 
istics of and emotion, modern feeling, and old- 
Symphonies fashioned skill, which are the very essence 
of Brahms' style. The First Symphony of 
Brahms has been called the Tenth, as though it were 
the next in development after the Ninth — and greatest 
— of Beethoven ; ^ there may also have been some refer- 
ence to the similarity in the first theme in the Finale of 
each, though it is not likely that Brahms would ever be 
accused of plagiarism, as he was nothing if not original, 

' "We have at last a Tenth Symphony." — Von B3low. 
126 



The Musician 

and was the soul of honesty itself. His is truly the 
" Music of the Future," for the world is just beginning 
to appreciate it : no modern composer has expressed 
deeper or more fervent emotion. 

As a composer for the pianoforte Brahms had little 
in common with the great majority of his contem- 
poraries. For programme music in general 
he cared little. His mind ran naturally to Works for 
polyphony, so that he was the greatest Piano 

master of counterpoint since Bach. He 
had Beethoven's wealth of musical ideas, and Bach's 
skill in handling them. He was a scholar of scholars ; 
yet with all his perfection of art, the effect was 7iot that 
of technique as an end, but as the vehicle for the 
promulgation of his musical ideas. Hence his music 
was not dry bones, but the living, breathing product of 
a lavish imagination. The Intermezzo in E flat (Op. 
1 1 8) is perhaps the most eloquent expression of the 
tragic in all pianoforte music. His compositions are 
extremely difficult, requiring an excellent technique for 
their adequate performance, so that many are beyond 
the reach of any but the greatest virtuosi. But they 
are thoroughly pianistic — not orchestral thoughts written 
for the piano — modern, and withal original. They are 
not popular with concert players, because they lack the 
superficial brilliancy of effect which would make them 
instantaneously successful. It is evident that this had a 
great deal to do with their slow growth in popularity. 

In the latter part of his career the larger portion of 
127 



Brahms 

his compositions were vocal pieces for one or more 

voices. He published seven books of songs 
Songs from 1880 to 1887, exclusive of quartets and 

romances for mixed chorus. These songs 
are characterised by intense expression, profusion of 
melody of the highest order, and subtle treatment of 
popular sentiment. As a song-writer Brahms stands 
alone, and it is his songs that first won him general 
appreciation. He was specially fertile and original in 
this field, which was perhaps due in part to the fact 
that he seldom set poems that had been set by other 
composers. 

" In his songs he recalls Schubert in the abundance 
and charm of melody, Schumann in the delicacy and 

truth of detail, and Franz in the neatness of 
JVof a)i elaboration, yet he cannot be looked upon 
Imitator as an imitator of any of these composers ; 

he is still independent and original." He 
began where Schumann left off. His vocal melody is 
most expressive, and, as a rule, independent of the 
accompaniment. If he had written nothing but the 
songs, he would be entitled to rank among the greatest 
composers of all time. 

" The good taste which invariably guided 
Authors him in the choice of words demands poetry 
of His of sterling value that vibrates in the heart." 

Songs Hence his songs were set to words by the 

greatest of German lyric poets — such as 
Goethe, Holty, Tieck, Simrock, Kopisch, Hoffmann 

128 



The Musician 

von Fallersleben, Von Platen, Daumer, Schenkendorff, 
Eichendorff, Kl. Groth, Morike and Schiller. 

If there were any need to refute the criticism that 
Brahms lacked in melodic invention, the figures alone 
would be sufficient. To publish more than 
two hundred songs, which arc recognised the Great 

world over as serious and successful settings of Number of 
the texts chosen, is in itself ample guaranty Songs 

of the melodic fertility of the composer. Un- 
like Schubert's songs, which were largely improvisations — 
he wrote as many as eight in a single day — Brahms' were 
carefully constructed with utmost fidelity to the text. 

Among the best known of Brahms' songs are: "O 
versenk," "Sonett," "An ein Aeolsharfe," "Maria's 
Kirchgang," "Wie bist du, meine Konigen," 
" Ruhe, Siisse-Liebchen," ''Von ewiger Best 

Liebe," " Mainacht," " Botschaft," " Wiegen- known 

lied" (the well-known lullaby), "Perlen- Songs 

schnur," "O komme, holde Sommernacht," 
" Damm'rung senkte sich von Oben," " Regenlied," 
" Erinnerung," "Meine Liebe ist Griin," "Das liebsten 
Schwur," "Minnelied," " Vergebliches Standchen," 
"Therese," " Sapphische Ode," "Wir wandelten, wir 
zwei zusammen." 

Of the duets and quartets the best known are: "Die 
Meere," " Die Nonne und der Ritter," " Die Schwestern," 
"Die Boten der Liebe," " Hiit du dich," "Edward," 
" So lass uns wandern," " Der Gang zum Liebchen," " Ich 
schwing mein Horn ins Jammerthal," "Der Abend." 
I 129 



Brah 



ms 



In the field of choral composition Brahms was a 
giant. His style is sometimes almost reminiscent of 
Palestrina; then, again, in its polyphonic 
Choral treatment, with its canons and fugues, it 
Works suggests Bach ; and yet, again, he writes 

with the simplicity of the German folk-song 
singer. Many of his smaller sacred works were not 
meant to be sung in service, but simply render in artistic 
form the sentiments evoked by the words. The " German 
Requiem," his masterpiece, is a song of hope, by the ex- 
altation of its mood and treatment, rather than of death.' 
In the department of chamber music Brahms is 
without a rival among modern German composers. 
His chamber works are the loftiest ex- 
Chamber amples in this form since Beethoven. The 
Music "String Sextet" (Op. i8) is the greatest 

work in that form since Beethoven. The 
" Pianoforte Quintet " is unexcelled by any work in that 
form in all the literature of music. 

His activities as a composer covered practically every 

field except opera,which he never attempted. 

No Ground Hence it is evident that the very bitter con- 

for Com- troversy which raged for many years between 

parisonwith\\\Q. so-called Brahmsites and Wagnerites 

Wagner was entirely without reason, as the fields of 

activity of the two masters were in no sense 

similar, and do not admit of comparison. 

His final rating among the Olympian gods of music 

' Like its composer, it is essentially German in spirit ; there 
exists no other Requiem that is so thoroughly German as lirahms'. 

130 



The Musician 

is entirely creditable to Brahms. Famous critics speak 
of him as " Unrivalled among his contem- 
poraries in choral and chamber music," Final 
"The greatest German musician after Wag- Rating 
ner," and in other equally flattering terms. 
Von Billow considered him one of the three immortal B's 
— Bach and Beethoven being the other two — announc- 
ing as his musical creed : " I believe in Bach the Father, 
Beethoven the Son, and Brahms the Holy Ghost of music." 

Tschaikowsky, on the other hand, never became a 
Brahmsite. In 187 1 he wrote: "Brahms has not ful- 
filled the obligations which Schumann laid 
upon him."' In 1878 he heard some new Tschai- 
work by Brahms, and said the enthusiasm kowsky 
it aroused among German critics was in- not a 

comprehensible to him. Tschaikowsky Brahmsite 
esteemed him very highly for his serious- 
ness and sincerity, and his contempt for superficial 
success, but had not much sympathy with his music, 
finding it cold and dry. Even after repeatedly playing 
Brahms' works the impression was not much modified. 
"I deeply revere " (he writes) " the artistic personality 
of Brahms. I bow to the actual purity of his musical 
tendencies, and admire his firm and proud renuncia- 
tion of all tricks . . . but I do not care for his music." 

Nevertheless he sought an " intimate acquaintance 
with the very attractive personality of Brahms," and on 
December 26, 1887, they met at the house of Brodsky, 

■ If he had nol done so, Schumann's article would never have 
become famous. 

131 



Brah 



ms 



the violinist, where Brahms was rehearsing the Piano- 
forte Trio (Op. loo). Tschaikowsky writes 
But liked of him as follows : ' He is an unusually 
Brahms pleasing and attractive man, and all who have 
come in contact with him are inspired by 
warm affection and devotion. He possesses a rare and 
pleasing modesty ... A rather short man, suggests 
a sort of amplitude, and possesses a very sympathetic 
appearance ... A certain softness of outline, pleasing 
curves, rather long and slightly grizzled hair, kind grey (!) 
eyes, and thick beard freely sprinkled with white. His 
manner is very simple, free from vanity, his humour 
jovial, and the few hours spent in his society left a very 
agreeable recollection . , . Like all my Russian musical 
friends, without exception, I only respected in Brahms an 
honourable, energetic musician of strong convictions ; but 
in spite of all efforts to the contrary, I never could and 
never can admire his music. There is something dry, 
cold, vague and nebulous, repellent to Russian 
hearts. From our Russian point of view Brahms 
does not possess melodic invention . . . not 
weak or unremarkable. His style is always 
Brahms^ elevated." 

Attitude Brahms in his turn was too sincere to pre- 

toward tend to any appreciation of Tschaikowsky's 
Tschai- works. He went especially to Hamburg to 
kowsky hear Tschaikowsky's Fifth Symphony, and 
after the concert invited him to dinner. After 
Brahms had entertained him most hospitably, he confided 
132 



The Musician 

to Tschaikowsky with quiet sincerity that he didn't like the 
symphony at all. He spoke so simply that Tschaikowsky 
didn't feel at all hurt, but was encouraged to retort in kind. 
They parted excellent friends, but never met again. 

DvoMk used to speak with tears in his eyes of the 
warm interest Brahms showed in him at a time when his 
(Dvorak's) compositions found neither pub- 
lishers nor performers, and of the powerful Dvorak's 
support Brahms gave him and what energy Gratitude 
he exhibited in sounding the depths of the 
unknown genius of his Slavonic brother in art. Not 
that Brahms entirely sympathised with all that Dvorak 
did or tried to do, but he felt that here was an original 
mind that deserved encouragement. 

The appreciation and diffusion of his works is steadily 
increasing. For many years the seat of the greatest 
Brahms cult was in Hamburg, partly be- 
cause he was born there, and partly because Growth in 
of the anti-Wagner feeling there. Since the Poptdarity 
appearance of the " German Requiem " in 
1868 every new work published by Brahms became an 
event in the musical life of Germany, ind even in 
England and America, where most of his greatest works 
have been given. The Hungarian Dances are one of 
the most popular compositions that the orchestral re- 
pertoire contains. While the themes are not Brahms' 
own, it is to his briUiant handling that they owe their 
vogue; he and Liszt may be said to have opened the 
music of Hungary to the world. 

133 



Brahms 

It might be interesting to see what the rabid anti- 
Brahmsites have to say about our subject. It is, perhaps, 
better not to draw from German sources, for 
Afiti- there the strife was fiercest and the feeling 

Brahmsiie most unreasoningly bitter. But two choice 
Verdict bits are here appended, one from an English, 
and another from an American source. 

J. F. Runciman, an English critic, has this to say : — 

" He had not the intellect of an antelope," yet in the 
next breath he speaks highly of Brahms' songs and 
many other works. Then he goes on to 
J. F. say : " He had not a great matter to utter. 

Ruticiman If ever a musician was born a happy, care- 
less, romanticist, that musician was Brahms " 
... " He assumed the pose and manner of a master 
telling us great things, and talked like a pompous duflfer. 
Brahms was not cast in the big mould, and he spent a 
good deal of his later time in pitying himself " (!!)... 
" Much of Brahms' music is bad and ugly music, dead 
music ; it is counterfeit, and not the true and perfect 
image of life indeed, and it should be buried or cre- 
mated at the earliest opportunity . . ." " But much of 
it is wonderfully beautiful. All his music is irreproach- 
able from the technical point of view. Brahms is cer- 
tainly with Bach, Mozart and Wagner in point of 
musicianship ; in fact, these four might be called the 
greatest masters of sheer music who have ever lived." 
(Where do Beethoven or one or two others come in ?) 

H. T. Finck, an American critic and a pronounced 
134 



The Musician 

Wagnerite, calls Brahms' music "musical small-talk, 

meaningless twaddle," and declares Brahms 

to be " a great dressmaker — a musical H. T. 

Worth," and that he owes his vogue not Finck 

to any virtue of his own, but solely to the 

fact that the anti-Wagnerites pitched on him as their 

champion. However, even he declares that Brahms' 

" technical virtuosity puts him on a level with the 

greatest masters." 

If genius is an "infinite capacity for taking pains," 
then assuredly Brahms is one of the very greatest among 
all the master musicians. Certainly none of 
the great composers was more consistently Con- 

painstaking in the development of his sistently 
material. Even in his largest works the Pains- 
attention to detail is amazing ; his mastery taking 

of detail is unsurpassed. A theme was to 
him what the name indicates, a subject which was to be 
worked out, shown in all its lights ; developed from all 
sides and in all directions so far as logically possible ; 
not simply to be stated and reiterated a few times and 
then left for an entirely new idea. 

Brahms was eminently the logician among musicians ; 
a theme was useful to him only so far as it 
could become the basis of a logically-thought- Musical 
out work of art. Rich in inspiration, he Logician 
yet subjected his ideas to such severely 
rigorous discipline that, by the time the finished pro- 

135 



Brahms 

duct left his hands, there remained nothing but the 
aesthetic, some times almost ethereal, work of art, with- 
out a trace of the cheap or commonplace. 

No composer wrote and thought habitually on a higher 
plane. Therein lay both his strength and his weakness. 

Undoubtedly there is not the same appeal to 
No Appeal the popular mind in his works that one finds 
to the in Schubert, who is so intensely human 

Popular that he frequently verges on the banal, or in 
Mind Haydn or Mendelssohn, whose geniality kept 

them ever on good terms with their fellow- 
men, or even in Wagner, whose whole life was devoted 
to the portrayal of the more fervid emotions. Not 
that Brahms is not human or genial or fervid, but these 
qualities are not so obvious in him as in these others. 
Undoubtedly the appreciation of Brahms was at first, 
and still to a great measure remains, a matter of the 
chosen few, the inner circle of the musically elect who 
can comprehend his message. For '0/ voXkoi he has no 
message, nor, though he was at heart a great lover of 
his kind, did he ever attempt to win their suffrages. 
The highest ideal of artistic excellence was ever his 
goal, and under no consideration would he make any 
concessions to popular taste. Not that he never tried 
to meet the people half-way ; on the contrary, his devo- 
tion to folk-music is sufificient refutation of any such 
charge. Indeed, there is often a combination of 
popular elements with the most artistic and compli- 
cated forms which characterise much of Brahms' music. 

136 




'V g 



The Musician 

But even when writing for the people, or using their songs 
as the basis for his compositions, the highest artistic treat- 
ment was accorded them ; so that, though he might, for 
reasons of his own, make use of the most commonplace 
themes, they passed through a process of treatment that 
transmuted them into works of art of the highest 
order. 

There is only one way in which such a master can 
ever become widely appreciated, and that is by edu- 
cating audiences up to his level. The 
mountain will not come to Mahomet, so Educate 
Mahomet must perforce go to the mountain. Audie ices 
Here we have a master whose message is up to 

still largely in the future. The past could Brahms 
not comprehend him ; the present is striving 
hard to reach his level ; it remains to the future to in- 
terpret his message to the world. That his works are 
at last beginning to be understood is best attested by 
the fact that the " German Requiem," his masterpiece, 
which was given last season (1903-1904) in New York, 
is to be repeated again during the season of 1904- 1905. 

The style of Brahms is first and always polyphonic ; 
Bach is his model as regards technical treatment of his 
material, Beethoven as regards form, and, to 
a certain extent, Schumann and Schubert Uncompro- 
as regards musical content. In his works, misi?igly 
especially earlier in his career, there was Classical 
often a romantic note, a new peculiar mode 
of expression, full of poetic sentiment, but as regards 

137 



Brah 



ms 



form and development, his is always an uncompromis- 
ingly classical manner. For "programme music" and 
the "free" form which has resulted therefrom, he had 
no use ; caprice had no place in his art views. Art was 
too sacred a matter with him for any blatant realism or 
personal whim, or foolish attempt at story-telling. That 
there is no virtue in dramatic music he would have been 
the last to contend, for he wrote reams of it himself; 
but it is dramatic in an abstract way, and makes no 
attempt to tell or illustrate a story ; it simply portrays 
emotions by means of musical tones, which is all that 
music can do or has any right to try to do. 

As for the details of composition, he made use of very 
few technical methods that were not generally known 
and accepted by composers ; only his accent 
Details of upon certain particular styles of treatment 
Treatment gave his works a decidedly individual char- 
acter. All the resources of harmonic colour, 
of contrapuntal development and of rhythmic accent were 
at his command, and he used them all like the consum- 
mate master that he was. Transposition, modulation, 
inversion, augmentation, diminution — all the familiar 
devices of thematic development were well-known to him 
and furnished means for the expression of his genius. 
Fugues and double fugues flowed from his pen with 
utmost facility, the canon was a commonplace — in a 
word, all the wealth of polyphonic material and sug- 
gestion which the mediaeval monks had evolved after 
centuries of labour were by him translated into modern 

138 



The Musician 

terms and utilised in the production of art works which 
mark the pinnacle of human achievement along their 
particular lines. 

This is not to say that Brahms is the greatest of all 
composers ; the very elements of his strength would 
make that impossible ; for of sensuous beauty, which 
is after all perhaps the chief charm of music, there is too 
often not enough. Any artist who elevates intellect 
over emotion and the humanities has by 
that sign made it impossible for himself to Not the 
achieve the very highest rank, for the Greatest 
greatest of all art must necessarily be Musidafi 
emotion regulated by intellect, not intellect 
emotionalised. Therefore, while Brahms has given us 
much music that is beautiful, considerable that is sur- 
passingly beautiful, and none that is cheap or weak, 
there is too much of the philosopher and scholar about 
much of his work to make him ever the musical idol. 
But for just that reason he will ever be a source of 
inspiration, a model for succeeding generations of 
musicians. 

Perhaps the most striking characteristic, apart from 
his conscientious intellectuality, is his modernity. Par- 
taking more or less of the characteristics of 
many of the masters who went before him Brahms 
— Bach, Beethoven, Schumann and Schu- and Other 
bert have already been mentioned, while in Composers 
the " Triumphlied'^ one sees traces of the 
influence of Handel ; in the Second Symphony a 

139 



Brah 



ms 



Mozartean character ; in the Serenades a Haydnesque 
clearness of structure ; and in the Scherzos a humour as 
naive as Haydn's, though expressed in more modern 
language — yet there is in the musical style and content 
no harking back to a former period ; everything is 
modern and up-to-date (though occasionally he fell into 
the Palestrina manner in his vocal compositions). His 
harmonic scheme is the most radical to be found among 
all composers, Richard Strauss alone excepted, and his 
rhythmic innovations are most daring — no other com- 
poser has introduced so many — his melodies are modern 
in the best sense of the term. Of these Niecks says : 
" Brahms' melody is distinguished by purity, simplicity, 
naturalness and grace." 

As compared with his contemporaries, he stands head 
and shoulders above them all, with the single exception 

of Wagner. With Wagner there is no just 
Brahms basis of comparison. Brahms never entered 
and His the field of dramatic composition, and 
Contem- Wagner, after his student days, never 
poraries emerged from it. What either would have 

done in the other's field it is useless to 
conjecture. Unquestionably, there is a depth of passion 
and a wealth of colour about the works of the Bayreuth 
master that surpass probably anything the Viennese 
has done. In these and other directions there may 
have been others of Brahms' contemporaries who have 
equalled or surpassed him in some single respect ; but 
for lofty idealism, wealth of melodic invention and 

140 



The Musician 

development, and consistent adherence to the highest 
standards, none could equal him. Whether or not he 
would have unbent more or less had he entered the 
dramatic arena it is hard to say. No doubt environment 
is a potent factor in the shaping of art works, as well as 
of human lives ; and the exigencies of a stage production 
often necessitate radical concessions upon the part of the 
composer. That Brahms had the highest admiration for 
Wagner in many respects, and for Verdi, there is no ques- 
tion. That this admiration was not mutual, at least so 
far as Wagner is concerned, is much to be regretted. 

Tschaikowsky and the Russian school made little 
appeal to Brahms, and he as little to them. He never 
painted with the full brush ; colour, while 
he never lacked for it, was still a secondary Brahms as 
consideration with him, and the superabund- Colourist 
ance of it which characterised the works of 
the Russians and the " New Germans " seemed to him 
crude and inartistic. His works are surcharged with 
emotion, but it is of a deeper, more intense nature, 
rather than superficial or obvious. 

Brahms' chief musical sin in the eyes of the world is 
his uncompromising earnestness, his unswerving loyalty 
to his ideals. A little elasticity of con- 
science, relaxation of vigilance, and lowering His Chief 
of standards, and the people would have Musical 
felt more al home; and possibly Brahms Sin 

would have been heralded far and wide as 
the Great Master upon whom the mantle of Beethoven 

141 



Brah 



ms 



had fallen. As Dr Louis Ehlert says ; " Brahms does not 
stand before us like Mozart or Schubert, in whose eyes 
we seem to look, whose hands we seem to press. Two 
atmospheres lie between him and us. Twilight sur- 
rounds him, his heights melt in the distance ; we are at 
once allured and repelled." 

As a symphonist Brahms lived up to the highest 
traditions of the art. Original in details of treatment, 
he accepted the general form of the Sym- 
The phony as developed by Beethoven. The 

Symphonies First Symphony opens with an impressive 
sostenuto Introduction ; the others begin at 
once with the principal subject of the Allegro. His one 
important innovation in this field was the Passacaglia in 
the Fourth Symphony, which was an entirely new idea 
for the closing movement of a symphony. He was 
also the creator of the Variation cycle as a separate 
orchestral form ; and the entire metamorphosis which 
the Variation form underwent in his hands is one of 
his greatest contributions to the progress of Musical 
Form. 

His choral works, forming a most important part of 
the whole body of his compositions, are marked by a 
dignity and musicianship that are well-nigh 
The Choral unsurpassed. Often intensely difficult, de- 
Works manding both mental and physical endur- 
ance and thorough preparation, they rise to 
ideal heights that have been unapproached by any of his 
contemporaries, and scarcely surpassed by any of the 

142 



The Musician 

older masters. There are many touches which exhibit 
originahty of the highest order, such as the repetition in 
"The Song of Destiny" of the orchestral introduction 
at the end of the composition, thus relieving the sombre- 
ness of the poem, and leaving a hopeful impression at 
the end. The " German Requiem" is undoubtedly the 
greatest achievement of modern sacred music in Germany, 
if not in the world. 

In chamber music his mastership is perhaps most 
complete ; here he is the peer of the greatest. His 
name will go down in the history of chamber 
music on an equality with Beethoven's. His Cha7nber 
treatment of the horn and clarionet was Music, Con- 
especially successful \ while in the Violin certos and 
Concerto (Op. 77) the subject of the slow Sonatas 
movement is an example of the composer's 
invention at its greatest height; indeed, it would be 
difificult to match the entire movement for melodious 
beauty. His instrumental works, as a whole, are marked 
by the use of excellent thematic material, rich, ingeni- 
ous development, always coherent and logical, virility, 
distinct contrasts and wonderful climaxes — the working- 
out sections being particularly interesting and elaborate. 
The concertos and sonatas for various instruments are 
of surpassing merit, though as a rule none but artists of 
established reputation make use of them, if for no other 
reason than that he sacrificed effect to artistic perfec- 
tion. For there is no display of virtuoso tricks, no 
tinsel, no padding — all is solid tissue, demanding 

143 



Brah 



ms 



sterling musicianship and, in most cases, enormous 
technique — with no appeal to the gallery to call forth 
salvos of applause. But for musical worth and expres- 
siveness, they are well worth a dozen of the more 
brilliant, applause-evoking concert pieces. 

The piano plays a most important part in the list of 
Brahms' works, not only as a solo instrument, but in 

conjunction with other instruments or the 
Pianoforte human voice. Himself possessed of a most 
Works remarkable technique, he makes demands 

upon his pianists that frequently none but 
a virtuoso of the highest rank can satisfy. The left 
hand particularly plays a much more important part 
with him than with most others. There are no easy 
Brahms piano pieces — none for dilletanti. He demands 
the best efforts of earnest musicians for his adequate 
comprehension and rendition. Sonata No. i in C has 
for the principal subject of the first movement almost the 
same theme as Beethoven's in B fiat (Op. io6) ; but the 
treatment is astonishingly original. In the Second Sonata 
much originality of design is shown by using the same sub- 
ject for the slow movement and the Scherzo,and by the 
repetition of the Introduction to the Finale at its close. 

Much praise has been bestowed upon the songs, and 
they deserve all they have received, and more. " In the 

' Nine Songs by Platen and Daumer ' and 
Songs the ' Magelone Lieder ' is reached the 

highest point in the development of the 
German Lied." Unusually meritorious from a literary 

144 



The Musician 

point of view — no other composer has chosen so many 
good poems for settings — the musical treatment is 
always faithful to the text, without being slavishly bound 
to its every idiosyncrasy. Thoroughly vocal, melodic- 
ally perfect, his songs, like his other works, are in no 
sense of the word show-pieces. Brahms surpasses 
Franz, the most formidable of his contemporaries, in 
that he has liberated the melody from the thraldom of 
the traditional four-measure formation of periods. The 
accompaniments are as carefully thought out as the 
songs themselves, moving independently, as a rule, and 
adding immensely to the interest of the compositions — 
but adding also to the difficulty in rendition. 

It is much to be regretted, from the standpoint of the 
popularity of his works, that Brahms did not concern 
himself more with the problem of lessening 
the technical difficulties in his compositions. Composi- 
Unquestionably this has been, and will always tions too 
remain, an important obstacle in the way of Difficult 
their general appreciation. But the techni- 
cal ability of artists is ever increasing, so that we may 
hope for the least possible trouble from this source. 

To sum up : Brahms possessed creative ability of the 
highest order, an unusually keen intellect, wide culture, 
and absolute mastery of technical material. 
Add to this a sanity of mind and breadth Summing 
of view, which have unfortunately been up 

unusual among great musicians, and we 
have a personality both uncommon and commanding. 
K 145 



Brahms 

The death, first of Wagner, and later of Brahms, has 
removed from the arena both the men about whom 
centered a long and useless warfare ; and time 
Future of is gradually assigning to each his proper place 
Music in the musical Pantheon. Just what will 

be the direction along which musical taste 
will progress in the next century it is hard to prophesy; 
but, judging from present tendencies, the influence of 
Brahms upon future composers bids fair to rival Wag- 
ner's, especially as regards musical structure. At any 
rate, compared with the masters of the Past, it seems as 
though Von Biilow had been not far wrong in ranking 
Brahms with Bach and Beethoven, thereby completing 
the Trinity of Musical Immortals. 

A quotation in closing, and then the full stop : " Those 
who are indifferent to the spiritual contents and signifi- 
cance in musical forms sometimes find Brahms dull and 
uninteresting, in spite of the fact that these forms are 
modelled with the utmost care and represent the pro- 
foundest knowledge of the art. Brahms, however, has a 
royal recompense. He is generally esteemed by musi- 
cians as the Titan of living composers " (this was written 
in 1895) "in the mastery of the technique of composition, 
and in the depth, sincerity and originality of his genius 
— the reigning successor in the line of Bach and Beet- 
hoven, though his field, in the main, was to be different 
from theirs." 



146 



Appendices 



Appendix A 



LIST OF COMPOSITIONS 

Most of the compositions of Brahms are still to be found in 
the original editions, the great majority, especially those of 
the latter part of his life, being published by the house of 
Simrock, in Berlin. Rieter-Biedermann has also published 
many important works, including the " German Requiem," 
while a few may be found upon the lists of Spina and of 
Peters, and many of the earliest upon the catalogue of 
Breitkopf & Hiirtel. Of course there have been reprints, 
the most important being a complete de luxe edition of the 
Piano Works, Violin Sonatas, Songs and Duets, and 
Chamber Music, by the house of Schirmer, New York, 
which has just appeared (1904). 

Long before any other of Brahms' works were assimilated 
by the public, the "Lullaby" (Op. 49, No. 4) had found its 
way in different forms — as solo, male or female chorus, violin 
solo, among others — into every corner of the land, while, 
wherever an orchestra of sufficient ability could be found, the 
" Hungarian Dances " proved the entering wedge for his 
instrumental compositions. By this time nearly all his instru- 
mental works and songs have become well known, and the 
Brahms cult is every day gathering strength. In America 
especially the appreciation of his works is growing by leaps 
and bounds, and a considerable and important Brahms 
literature is springing up. 

The complete list of Brahms' works is as follows : — 

Orchestral. 
Opus 
II. "Serenade for Full Orchestra" in D. 

Allegro molto —Scherzo {allegro noft troppo)— Adagio 
149 



Brahms 

Opus 

non troppo — Two Minuets — Scherzo {allegro) — 
Rondo {allegro). 

1 6. " Serenade for Small Orchestra " (without Violins) in A. 

Allegro moderato — Scherzo {vivace) — Adagio non 

troppo — Quasi menuetto — Rondo {allegro). 
(This Serenade was revised and republished in 1875.) 
56A. " Variations on a Theme by Haydn " (eight in number). 
68. "First Symphony for Full Orchestra" in C minor. 

Un poco sostenuto, allegro — Andante sostenuto — Un 
poco allegretto e grazioso — Finale {adagio, allegro 
non troppo ma con brio). 
73. "Second Symphony for Full Orchestra" in D. 

Allegro non troppo — Adagio non troppo — Allegretto 
grazioso {quasi atidantino) — Allegro con spirito. 

80. "Academic Festival Overture" for Full Orchestra. 

81. "Tragic Overture" for Full Orchestra. 

go. " Third Symphony for Full Orchestra " in F. 

Allegro con brio — Andante — Allegretto — Allegro. 
98. " Fourth Symphony for Full Orchestra" in E minor. 

Allegro non troppo — Andante moderato — Allegro 
giocoso — Allegro energico e passionato {passa- 
caglia). 
" Hungarian Dances" (arranged by Brahms). 

Vocal— Choral. 

12. "Ave Maria," for Female Chorus, Orchestra and 

Organ. 

13. " Funeral Hymn," for Mixed Chorus and Wind 

Orchestra. 

17. "Part Songs for Female Chorus," with Two Horns 

and Harp — 
No. I. " Es tont ein voller Harfenklang" (I hear a 
harp), ..... Ruperti. 
„ 2. " Song" from Shakespear^s " Twelfth Night." 
,, 3. " Der Gartner" (Greetings) 

Von Eichendorff. 
„ 4. " Gesang aus FingaV (Song from Fingal) 

Ossian. 
22. " Marienlieder," for Four-part Mixed Chorus — 
150 



Appendix A 



Opus Part I. 

No. I. "DerenglischeGruss"(Theangel'sgreeting). 
„ 2. " Maria's Kirchgang" (Mary goes to church). 
„ 3. "Maria's Wallfahrt" (Mary's pilgrimage). 

Part 2. 
„ 4. "Der Jager" (The hunter). 
„ 5, " Ruf zur Maria" (Mary's calling). 
„ 6. "Magdalena." 
„ 7. "Maria's Lob" (Mary's praise). 
27. "13th Psalm," for Three-part Female Chorus and 
Organ (or Piano). 

29. " Two Motets " for Five-part Mixed Chorus, a capclla — 

No. I. Chorale, " Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" 
(To us salvation now is come), and Fugue. 
„ 2. " Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herz" 
(Create in me a clean heart, O God). 

30. " Sacred Song by Paul Flemming," for Four-part 

Mixed Chorus with Organ or Piano (" Lass dich 
nur nichts dauern"). 

31. "Three Quartets for Solo Voices" (S., A., T., B.), with 

Piano — 
No. I. "Wechsellied zum Tanze " (Invitation to 
the dance) .... Goethe. 

„ 2. " Neckereien " (Raillery) . Old Moravian. 
„ 3. " Der Gang zum Liebchen " (Lover's 
journey) ..... Bohemian. 
37. " Three Sacred Choruses " for Female Voices, a 
capella — 
No. I. "Obone Jesu." 
,, 2. "Adoremus te." 
„ 3. " Regina coeli." 
41. "Five Songs" (Soldatenlieder) for Four-part Male 
Chorus, a capclla — 
No. I. " Ich schwing mein Horn ins Jammerthal" 
(I wind my horn in this vale of tears) 

Old German. 
(This song is also published for solo voice.) 
„ 2. " Freiwillige her ! " (Volunteers advance) 

Carl Lemikc. 
151 



Brahms 



Opus 

No. 3. " Geleit " (Escort) . . . Carl Lemcke 
„ 4. " Marschiren" (Marching) . „ 

„ 5. "Gebt Acht" (Take care) . „ 

42. " Three Songs " for Six-part Male Chorus, a capella — 
No. I. " Abendstandchen " (Evening serenade) 

Clemens Brentano. 

„ 2. " Vineta " W. Miiller. 

„ 3. "Darthula's Grabgesang" (Darthula's burial 
song) . . Herder, after Ossian. 

44. " Twelve Songs and Romances " for Female Chorus, 
a capella (Piano ad libitum) — 

Part I. 

No. I. " Minnelied" (Lovesong) . J. H. Voss. 

„ 2. "Der Brautigam " (The bridegroom) 

J. von Eichendorff. 
„ 3. " Barcarolle " . . . . Italia7i. 
„ 4. " Fragen" (Questions) . . Slavic. 

„ 5. "Die Mullerin" (The millers maid) 

A. von Chaniisso. 
„ 6. " Die Nonne" (The nun) . . L. Uhland. 



Part 2. 

„ I. "Nun steh'n die Rosen" (Still stand the 
roses). 
(This and the three following songs are taken 
from Paul Heyse's '''' Jungbrumten") 
„ 2. " Die Berge sind spitz" (The mountains are 

sharp). 
„ 3. "Am Wild-bach die Weiden" (By the noisy 

brook the willows). 
„ 4. "Und gehst du iiber den Kirchhof" (And 

goest thou to the churchyard). 

„ 5. " Die Braut" (The bride), (from the Island of 

Rijgen) . • . . With. Miiller. 

„ 6. "Marznacht"(AMarchnight) . L. Uhland. 

45. " German Requiem," for Soli, Chorus and Orchestra 

(Organ ad libitutn). 

152 



Appendix A 



Opus 

50. " Rinaldo " (a Cantata by Goethe), for Tenor Solo, Male 
Chorus and Orchestra. 

53. " Rhapsodic" (Fragment from Goethe's '■'■ Har::reise im 

Winter'"), for Alto Solo, Male Chorus and Orchestra. 

54. " Schicksalslied " (Song of Destiny), for Chorus and 

Orchestra. 

55. "Triumphlied" (Song of Triumph), for Eight-part 

Chorus and Orchestra (Organ ad libit icm). 
62. " Seven Songs " for Mixed Chorus, a capclla— 
No. I. " Rosemaren " (Rosemary) 

Knabcn Wimderbuch {Childs Wonder-book). 
„ 2. "Von alten Liebesliedern " (Before my fair 
maid's window) 
Knabcn Wundcrbuch {Child's Wonder-book). 
„ 3. " Waldesnacht " (Forest gloom) 

Heyse, '■'' Jungbrunnen^^ 
„ 4. " Dein Herzlein mild" (Thou gentle girl) 

Heyse, '•'• Jungbrunnen." 
„ 5. "All meine Herzengedanken " (Where'er 
I go) . . Heyse, '■'■ Jimgbrunnen." 
„ 6. "Es geht ein Wehen" (I hear a sighing) 

Heysc, '■'■ Jungbrunnen." 

„ 7. " Vergangen ist mir Gliick und Heil" (Of 

ev'ry joy I am bereft) . Old German. 

64. " Three Quartets " for Four Solo Voices (S., A., T., B.) 

and Piano — 

No. I. "An die Heimath" (To our home) 

C. O. Sternau. 
„ 2. " Der Abend " (Evening) . Fr. Schiller. 
„ 3. " Fragen " (Questions) . G. Fr. Daumer. 
74. "Two Motets " for Mixed Chorus, a capclla — 

No. I. " Warum ist das Licht gegeben " (Wherefore 
is light given). 
„ 2. "O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf" (O 
Saviour, bid the heavens open). 
82. " Nanie " (Poem by Schiller), for Chorus and Orchestra 

(Harp ad libitum). 
89. " Gesang der Parzen" (Song of the Fates), from Goethe's 
" Iphigenia," for Six-part Chorus and Orchestra. 
153 



Brahms 



Opus 
92. " Four Quartets " for Solo Voices (S., A., T., B.) and 
Piano — 
No. I. "O schone Nacht" (O lovely night) 

G. Fr. Daumer, 
„ 2. " Spatherbst " (Late autumn) 

Hermami Allmers. 

„ 3. "Abendlied " (Evening song) . Fr. Hebbel. 

„ 4. " Warum " (Why) . . . Goel/ie. 

93A. " Six Songs and Romances " for Four-part Chorus, 

a capella — 

No. I. "Derbucklichte Fiedler "(The hump-backed 

fiddler) . . . Rhenish Folk-song. 

„ 2. " Das Madchen " (The maiden) 

Siegfried Kapper {Servian) 
„ 3. " O siisser Mai" (O'lovely May) 

L. Achini von Arnim. 
„ 4. " Fahr'wohl " (Farewell) . . Fr. Ritckert. 
„ 5. " Der Falke" (The falcon) 

S. Kapper {Servian). 
„ 6. " Beherzigung" (Stout-hearted) . Goethe. 
93B. "Tafellied" (Dank der Damen), Drinking Glee, by 
Jos. von Eichendorff, for Six-part Chorus, a capella 
(Piano ad libitujn). 
103. "Gipsy Songs" for Four Voices (S., A., T., B.) and 
Piano — 
No. I. "He, Zigeuner, greife in die Saiten ein" 
(Ho, gipsy, strike the chord). 

2. "Hochgethiirmte Rimafluth" (High tower- 
ing flood). 

3. " Wisst ihr, war main Kindchen " (Know ye, 
was my child). 

4. " Lieber Gott, du weisst" (Dear Lord, Thou 
knowest). 

5. " Brauner Bursche, fiihrt zum Tanze" (Ye 
swarthy lads, on to the dance). 

6. " Roslein dreie in der Reihe" (There stood 
three rosebuds in a row). 

7. " Kommt dir manchmal in den Sinn" 
(Oftentimes there comes to mind). 

154 



Appendix A 



Opus 

104. " Five Songs " for Mixed Voices, a capella — 

No. I. Nachtwache : " Leise Tone der Brust " 
(Night song: "Gentle tones stir the 
heart"). 
„ 2. Nachtwache : " Ruhn sie ? ruft das Horn 
des Wachters " (Rest ye ? calls the watch- 
man's horn). 
„ 3. " Letztes Gliick": " Leblos gleitet Blatt um 
Blatt" (Last hope : " Lifeless slips blade 
on blade"). 
„ 4. "Verlorene Jugend": "BraustenalleBerge" 

(Lost youth : "Over the hills"). 
„ 5. "Im Herbst": "Ernst ist der Herbst" 
(Autumn : " Sober is the autumn "). 
109. " Drei Deutsche Fest- und Gedenkspriiche " (Three 
German festival thanksgiving sentences), for 
Double Chorus, a capella. 
no. "Three Motets" for Four- and Eight-part mixed 
Chorus, a capella. 
No. I. " But I am poor." 
,, 2. "Thou poor vain world deludest me." 
„ 3. "When we in deep distress and grief." 

112. "Six Gipsy Songs" for Four Voices (S., A., T., B), 

a capella. 
No. I. "Sehnsucht" (Longing). 
„ 2. "Nachtens"(At Night). 
„ 3-6. " Vier Zigeunerlieder " (Four Gipsy-songs). 

113. "Thirteen Canons" for Female Voices and Piano. 

Without Opus Number. 

" Fourteen German Folk-songs " for Four-part Chorus 

(1864)- 

Book I. 

No. I. " Von edler Art " (Of noble race). 
„ 2. " Mit Lust that ichausreiten" (Lustily would 

I ride forth). 
„ 3. " Bei nachtlicher Weil " (During the night). 
„ 4. "Vom heiligen Martyrer, Emmerano, Bis- 



Brahms 

Opus chofif von Regensburg" (The holy martyr, 

Emmerano, Bishop of Regensburg). 
No. 5. " Taublein vveiss " (O little white dove). 
„ 6. "Ach lieber Herre, Jesu Christ" (O dearest 

Lord). 
„ 7. " Sankt Raphael " (Saint Raphael). 

Book II. 

No. I. " In stiller Nacht " (In night's still calm). 
„ 2. "Abschiedslied" (Farewell). 
„ 3. " Der todte Knabe " (The dead youth). 
„ 4. " Die Wollust in die Mayer " (The pleasures 

of May). 
., 5. " Morgengesang " (Morning song). 
„ 6. " Schnitter Tod " (The reaper, Death). 
„ 7. "Der englische Jager" (The heavenly 

huntsman). 
" Fourteen Volks-Kinderlieder"(Children's Folk-songs), 
with Piano — 
No. I. " Dornroschen" (Thorn roses). 
„ 2. "Die Nachtigall" (The nightingale). 
„ 3. " Die Henne" (Henny-penny). 
„ 4. " Sandmannchen " (The little dustman). 
„ 5. "Der Mann " (Someone). 
„ 6. " Haidenroslein " (Heather rose). 
„ 7. " Das Schlarafifenland" (The fool's paradise). 
„ 8. " Beim Ritt auf dem Knie " (A ride on the 

knee). 
„ g. " Der Jager im Walde" (The hunter in the 

forest). 
„ 10. " Das Madchenund die Hasen" (The maiden 

and the hares). 
„ II. " Wiegenlied " (Cradle song). 
„ 12. "Weihnachten" (Christmas). 
„ 13. " Marienwiirmchen" (Ladybird). 
„ 14. " Dem Schutz Engel" (The guardian angel). 

Vocal— Songs and Duets. 

3. " Six Songs " for Tenor or Soprano with Piano — 
156 



Appendix A 

Opus 

No. I. " Liebestreu " (Constancy), (perhaps better 
known as " O versenk "), . Robert Reinick 
„ 2. " Liebe und Friihling" (Love and spring- 
time), . . Hoffviann von Fallersleben. 
„ 3. "Liebe und Friihling," IL 
„ 4. "Lied aus dem Gedicht, 'Ivan'" (Song 
from the poem, " Ivan ") Von Bodenstedt. 
„ 5. " In der Fremde" (In a foreign land) 

Von Eichendorff. 
„ 6. "Lied" (Song) . • . ». m 

6. "Six Songs" for Soprano or Tenor with Piano — 

No. I. " Spanisches Lied " (Spanish song) 

Paul Heyse. 
,, 2. " Der Friihling" (The springtime) 

J. B. Rousseau. 
„ 3. " Nachwirkung" (Afterward) 

Alfred Meissner. 
„ 4 " Wie die Wolke nach der Sonne" (Like 
clouds after sunshine) 

Hojffmann von Fallersleben. 

„ 5. "Juchhe!" (Hurrah !) . . R. Reinick. 

„ 6. " Nachtigallen schwingen " (Nightingales 

swinging) . Hoffmann von Fallersleben. 

7. " Six Soiigs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Treue Liebe " (True love) . Ferrand. 
„ 2. " Parole " (The huntsman) Vojt Eichendorff. 
„ 3. " Anklange " (Fragment) „ 

„ 4. " Volkslied " (Folk-song) . 
,, 5. " Die Trauernde'' (The mourning one) 

Folk-song. 
„ 6. "Heimkehr" (Return home) . Uhland. 
14. "Eight Songs and Romances" for One Voice and 
Piano — 

No I. " Vor dem Fenster " (Neath the window) 

Folk-song. 
" 2. " Vom verwundeten Knabe " (The wounded 

youth) Folk-song. 

„ 3. " Murray's Ermordung " (Murray's murder). 
Herder., '•'■ Stimmen der Volker" {Voices of 
the Nations). 
157 



Brahms 

Opus 

No. 4. " Ein Sonett" (Sonnet) Thirteenth Century. 
„ 5. "Trennung" (Separation) . Folk-song. 
„ 6. " Gang zur Liebsten " (Lover's journey) 

Folk-song. 
„ 7. " Stiindchen " (Serenade) . „ 

„ 8. "Sehnsucht" (Yearnings) . „ 

19. " Five Poems " for One Voice with Piano — 

No. I. "Der Kuss" (Thekiss) . I/olty. 

„ 2. " Scheiden und Meiden" (Parting) Uhland. 
„ 3. "In der Feme" (Parted) 
„ 4. " Der Schmied " (The forge) . „ 

„ 5. " An eine yEolsharfe " (yEolian harp) 

Morike. 

20. "Three Duets for Soprano and Alto" with Piano — 

No. I. " Weg der Liebe " (Way of love) 

Herder., " Stimtnen der Volker." 
„ "Weg der Liebe," IL 
„ " Die Meere " (The two deeps). 
28. " Four Duets" for Alto and Baritone with Piano — 

No. I. "Die Nonne und der Ritter" (The nun and 

the knight) . . . Von Eichendorff. 

„ 2. "VorderThiir" (By the door) O/^ C^rwaw. 

„ 3. " Es rauschet das Wasser" (The water is 

rippling) Goethe. 

„ 4. " Der Jager und sein Liebchen " (The 
hunter and his love) 

Hoffmann von Fallersleben. 
yi. " Nine Songs by Aug. von Platen and G. F. Daumer " 
for One Voice with Piano — 

Book I. 

No. I. " Wie rafft ich mich in die Nacht " (How I 
raved the long night through) Von Platen. 
„ 2. " Aus der Moldau" (From the Moldau) 

Daumer. 
„ 3. " Ich schleich' umher betriibt und stumm " 
(Sad and silent I steal about) Von Platen. 
,, 4. " Der Strom " (The stream) . „ 

158 



Appendix A 



Opus. 



Book II. 



No. 5. " Wehe, so willst du mich wieder" (Alas, 
and wilt thou once again) . Von Platen. 
.. 6. ■' Du sprichst, das ich mich tiiuschte " 
(Thou speakst, that I might barter) 

Von Platen. 
„ 7. " Bitter es zu sagen" (Bitter 'tis to say) 

Dauf}ter, after Hafis. 
„ 8. " So stehn wir" (So stand we) 

Dau7ner, after Hafis. 

„ 9. "Wie bist du, meine Konigen.?" (How art 

thou, my queen .?) Dattmer, after Hafis. 

33. " Fifteen Romances from L. Tieck's Magelone" for 

One Voice with Piano — 

Book I. 

No. I. " Keinen hat es noch gereut" (None have 

e'er repented) 
„ 2. "Traun! Bogen und Pfeil" (Faith! bow 

and arrow). 
„ 3. "Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden " (Be 

there pain or be there pleasure). 

Book II. 

,, 4. " Liebe kam aus fernen Linden " (Love came 

from far-off lindens). 
„ 5. " So willst du des armen " (So wilt thou this 

poor one). 
„ 6. "Wie soil ich die Freude" (How shall I the 

joy)- 

Book III. 

„ 7. " War es dir " (Was it for thee). 
,, 8. " Wir miissen uns trennen " (We must part). 
„ 9. " Ruhe, Siisse-liebchen" (Rest, sweet love). 
159 



Brahms 

Opus 

Book IV. 

No. lo. " So tonet denn" (So sound then). 
„ II. "Wie schnell verschwindet " (How quickly 

vanish). 
,, 12. "Muss es eine Trennung geben" (Must we 

part). 

Book V. 
„ 13. "Geliebter, wo zaudert dein arrender Fuss" 

(Beloved, why tarriest thou). 
„ 14. "Wie froh und frisch" (How bright and 

gay). 
„ 15. "Treue Liebe dauert lange" (True love 
grieves long). 
43. " Four Songs" for One Voice and Piano- 
No. I. "Von ewiger Liebe" (Love undying) 

Jos. Wentzig ( IVendish). 
„ 2. "Die Mainacht" (The May night) 

Ludwig Holty. 
„ 3. " Ich scheir mein Horn" (1 ring my bugle) 

Old German. 
„ 4. "Das Lied vom Herrn von Falkenstein" 
(Lord Falkenstein's song) 

from Uhlands " Folk-songs." 

46. "Four Songs" for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Die Kranze" (The garlands) 

Dataller's " Polydora" 
„ 2. " Magyarisch" (Magyar love-song) 

Ballmer's " Polydora." 
„ 3. " Die Schale der Vergessenheit " (The clap 

of oblivion) Holty. 

„ 4. "An die Nachtigall" (To the nightingale) 

Holiy. 

47. " Five Songs" for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Botschaft" (Message) 

Daumer, after Hafis. 
„ 2. " Liebesgluth " (Consuming love) 

Daumer, after Hafis. 
„ 3. *'SonntSig"{Sund2iy)[//iland{'' Folk-songs") 
160 



Appendix A 

Opus 



No. 4. " C) liebliclie Wangen" (O fair cheeks of 
roses) . . . Paul Flcmming. 

„ 5. " Die liebende schreibt " (To the beloved) 

Goethe. 

48. " Seven Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. "Der Gang zum Liebchen " (The watchful 
lover) ..... Bohemian. 
„ 2. " Der Ueberlaufer" (The false love) 

fro/u " Das Knabe7i M 'u7iderIiorn " ( The 
Youth's Enchanted Horn). 
„ 3. " Liebesklage des Madchens " (The maid 
forlorn) 
from '■'■Das Knaben Wunderhorn" {The 
Youth's Enchanted Horn). 
„ 4. "Gold iiberwiegt die Liebe" (Love betrayed 
for riches) .... Bohemian. 
„ 5. "Trost in Thriinen" (Comfort in tears) 

Goethe. 
„ 6. "Vergangen ist mir Gliick und Heil" (Of 
every joy I am bereft) . 0/d German. 
„ 7. " Herbst Gefiihl" (Autumnal gloom) 

A. F. von Schack. 

49. " Five Songs" for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. "Am Sonntag Morgen" (Last Sunday 

morning) Paul Weyse {Italian Song-book). 

„ 2. "Anein Veilchen" (To a violet) . H'olty 

„ 3. "Sehnsucht " (Longings) . . Bohemian. 

„ 4. "Wiegenlied" (Cradle song) 

to B. F. in Vienna. 
„ 5. "Abenddammerung" (Evening shadows) 

Adolf Friedrich von Schack. 
57. "Eight Songs" for Solo Voice with Piano — 
(Words by G. F. Daumer.) 

Book I. 
No. I. "Von waldbekrantzter Hohe" (From forest- 
crowned height). 
„ 2. "Wenn du nur zuweilen" (Didst thou but 
sometimes). 
L 161 



Brah 



ms 



Opus 



No. 3. " Es triiumte nur" (Only in dreams). 
,, 4. "Ach, wende diesen Blick" (Ah, turn away 
thy glance). 

Book II. 

„ 5. " In meiner Nachte Sehnen " (In my nights 
of longing). 

,, 6. "Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht" 
(Sometime beamed on me a gentle light). 

„ 7. " Die Schnur, die Perl und Perlen " (The 
string of precious pearls). 

,, 8. "Unbewegte laue Luft " (Thou gently- 
stirring zephyr). 

58. "Eight Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

Book I. 

No. I. "Blinde Kuh " (Blindman's buff) 

Aug. Kopisch {Italian). 

,, 2. " Wahrend des Regens" (While the rain 

falls) ..... Kopisch. 

„ 3. " Die Sprode " (The prude) . Calabriaii. 

„ 4. " O komme, holde Sommernacht" (O come, 

thou lovely summer night) . M. Grohe. 

Book II. 

„ 5. " Schwermuth" (Despair) Carl Candidus. 
„ 6. " In der Gasse'' (In the street) Fr. Hebbel. 
„ 7. " Voriiber" (Long ago) . . „ 
„ 8. "Serenade" . . A. Fr. von Schack. 

59. " Eight Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

Book I. 

No. I. " Damm'rung senkte sich von Oben " 
(Twilight) .... Goethe. 

„ 2. "Auf dem See" (On the lake) 

Carl Sim rock. 
„ 3. "Regenlied"( Rain song) . Claus Groth. 
„ 4. " Nachklange" (Tears) . „ 

162 



Appendix A 



Opus 



Book II. 



No. 5. '• Agnes " E. Morike. 

„ 6. ''Gute Nacht" (Good-night) G F. Daumer. 
„ 7. '• Mein wundes Herz" (Nly wounded heart) 

a. Groth. 
„ 8. " Dein blaues Auge" (Thy blue eye) „ 
61. "Four Duets" for Soprano and Alto with Piano — 
No. I. " Die Schwestern " (The sisters) 

Ed. Morike. 
„ 2. " Klosterfraulein" (The convent wall) 

Just. Kerner. 
„ 3. "Phanomen" (Love hath not departed) 

Goethe., " \Vest'6stliche7i Divan.^'' 
„ 4. '• Die Boten der Liebe" (Envoys of love) 

Josef IVenzig {Bohemian). 
63. " Nine Songs" for One Voice and Piano — 

Book I. 

No. I. " Friihlingstrost " (Comfort in spring) 

Max von Schenkendorf. 
,, 2- ■' Erinnerung" (Remembrance) 

Max von Schenkendorf. 
„ 3. ■■ An ein Bild" (To a portrait) 

iMax von Schenkendorf. 
,, 4. '■ An die Tauben" (To a dove) 

Max von Schenkendorf. 

Book II. 

„ 5. "Junge Liebe" (Youthful lays) 

A fax von Schenkendorf. 
„ 6. „ „ II. 

„ 7. "Heimweh" (Far from home) Claus Groth. 
„ 8. „ II. 

„ 9. » HI- 

66. "Five Duets" for Soprano and Alto with Piano — 

No. I. " Kliinge" (True lover's heart) Claus Groth. 
-» II 

16; 



Brahms 

Opus 

No. 3, "Am Strande" (By the summer sea) 

Hermann Holty. 
„ 4. " J iigerlied" (The huntsman) Car/ Ca«^/</«j. 
„ 5. " Hvit du dich" (Beware) 

Knaben Wunderbuch. 
69. "Nine Songs" for One Voice and Piano— 

Book I. 

No. I. "Klage" (Complaint) 

Josef Wenzig {Bohemian). 
„ 2. „ „ » {Slavonian). 

„ 3. "Abschied" (Parting) „ {Boheifiian) 

„ 4. "Das Liebsten Schwur" (The lover's vow) 

Josef Wenzig {Bohe7nian). 
„ 5. "Tambourliedchen" (Drummer's song) 

Carl Candidiis. 
Book II. 
„ 6. " Vom Strande" (On the shore) 

Vo7i Eichendorff, after the Spanish. 
„ 7. "Ueberdie See "(Over the sea) Crtr/Ze;«fX'^. 
„ 8. "Salome" .... Gottfried Keller. 
„ 9. "Madchenfluch" (Maiden's curse) 

Kapper.^ from Servian. 

70. " Four Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. "Im Garten am Seegestade " (The garden 
by the sea) . . . Carl Lemcke. 
„ 2. " Lerchengesang " (Skylark's song) 

Carl Candidus. 
„ 3. "Serenade" .... Goethe. 

„ 4. "Abendregen " (Evening shower) 

Gottfried Keller. 

71. " Five Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Esliebt sichsolieblich im Lenze"(0 May, 
love is sweet in thy bowers) . Heine. 

„ 2. " An den Mond " (To the moon) 

Carl Simrock. 

„ 3. " Geheimniss " (Secret) . Carl Candidus. 

„ 4. "Willst du, das ich geh" (V^ilt thou have 

me ""o) .... Carl Lemcke. 

164 



Appendix A 

Opus 

No. 5. " Minnelied "(Love song) . . .Holly. 
72. " Five Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Alte Liebe" (Old love) . Carl Candidus. 
„ 2. " Sommerfaden " (Summer gossamers) 

Carl Catididus. 
„ 3. " O kiihler Wald " (O forest cool) 

CI. Brenlano. 
„ 4. "Verzagen" (Lament) . Carl Lenicke. 
„ 5. " Uniiberwendlich " (The untameable) 

Goethe. 
75. "Four Ballads and Romances" for Two Voices and 
Piano — 
No. I. (Alto and Tenor) " Edward" 

Herder's " Volkslicdcr. " 

„ 2. (Soprano and Alto) "Outer Rath" (Good 

counsels) . . Knaden IVunderbuck. 

„ 3. (Soprano and Alto) " So lass uns wandern " 

(So let us wander) . We7izig {Bohemiaii). 

„ 4. (Two Sopranos) " Walpurgisnacht " (Wal- 

purgis night) . . Willibald Alexis. 

84. " Songs and Romances " for One or Two Voices and 

Piano — 
No. I. " Sommerabend " (Summer evening) 

Hans Schmidt. 
„ 2. " Der Kranz" (The wreath) „ „ 

„ 3. " In die Beeren " (Amongst the berries) 

Ha?is Schmidt. 
„ 4. "Vergebliches StJindchen " (Vain suit) 

Lower RJienish Folk-song. 
„ 5. " Spannung " (Strained greetings) 

Lower Rhetiish Folk-song. 

85. " Six Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Sommerabend "(Summer evening) . i%/«^. 
„ 2. " IMondenschein " (Moonlight) . „ 

„ 3. " Mjidchenlied" (Maiden's song) 

Sieqfried Kappcr {Servian). 
„ 4. "Ade" (Adieu) 

Sie^ried Kapper {Bohetnian). 
165 ' 



Brahms 

Opus 

No. 5. " Friihlingslied " (Spring song) 

Emmanuel Geibel. 
„ 6. "Waldeseinsamkeit" (Forest loneliness) 

Lemcke. 
86. " Six Songs " for One Voice and Piano- 
No. I. "Therese" . . . Gottfried Keller. 
„ 2. " Feldeinsamkeit " (In summer fields) 

Hcrmafin Albners. 
„ 3. " Nachtwandler " (The sleeper) 

Max Kalbeck. 
„ 4. " Ueber die Haide " (Over the moor) 

Theodor Storm. 
„ 5. " Versunken" (Engulfed) . Felix Sc/iuman?t. 
„ 6. " Todessehnen " (Shadows of death) 

Max von ScJie7ikendorf. 
gi. "Two Songs" for Alto, with Viola Obbhgato and 
Piano — 
No. I. "Gestillte Sehnsucht " (Longing at rest) 

Friedrich Riickert. 
„ 2. " Geistliches Wiegenlied " (Virgin's cradle 
song) Enunanuel Geibel^after Lope de Vega. 
94. " Five Songs " for Low Voice and Piano — 
No. I. " Mit vierzig Jahren " (At forty) 

Friedrich Riickert. 
„ 2. " Stieg'auf, geliebter Schatten " (Arise, be- 
loved spirit) . . . Friedrich Halm. 
„ 3. " Mein Herz ist schwer" (My heart is sad) 

Emmanuel Geibel. 
„ 4. " Sapphisches Ode" (Sapphic ode) 

Hans Schmidt. 
„ 5. " Kein Haus, keine Heimath" (No house, 
no home) , Friedrich Hahn^from a drama. 
95. " Seven Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 
No. I. " Das Madchen " (The maiden ") 

Sieg. Kapper {Servian). 
„ 2. " Bei dir sind meine Gedanken " (My 
thoughts are of thee) . Friedrich Halm. 
„ 3. " BeimAbschied" (At parting) „ ,, 

„ 4. " Der Jiiger " (The hunter) „ „ 

166 



Appendix A 

Opus 

No. 5. " Vorschneller Schwur" (Rash vow) 

K upper {Servian). 
„ 6. " Miidchenlied " (Maiden's song) 

Paul Ilcyse {Italian). 

„ 7. " Schon war, das ich dir weihte" (Fine was 

the gift I gave thee) . . Daumer. 

96. " Four Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Der Tod, das ist die kiihle Nacht" (Death 

is a cool night) .... Heine. 

„ 2. " Wir wandelten " (We wandered) Daumer. 

„ 3. " Es schauen die Hlumen" (The flowers are 

peeping) Heine. 

„ 4. '• Meerfahrt" (At sea) . . . „ 

97. " Six Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. "Nachtigall" (Nightingale) . C.Reinhold. 
„ 2. " Auf dem Schiffe " (A birdhng flew) 

C. Reinhold. 
„ 3. " Entfuhrung " (O Lady Judith) 

Willibald Alexis. 

„ 4. " Dort in den Weiden " (There 'mid the 

willows) . Lower RhenisJi Folk-song. 

„ 5. " Komm bald " (Come soon) Claus Groth. 

,, 6. " Trennung " (Parting) . . Suabian. 

105. "Five Songs" for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " Wie Melodien zieht es mir"(Like music 
sounding). 
„ 2. " Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer" 

(Ever lighter grew my slumbers). 
„ 3. " Klage " (Lament). 

„ 4. " Auf dem Kirchhof" (In the churchyard). 
„ 5. "Verrath " (Treachery). 

106. " Five Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " StJindchen" (Serenade). 
„ 2. "Auf dem See" (On the sea). 
,, 3. " Es hing der Reif " (There hung a wreath). 
„ 4. "Meine Lieder" (My songs). 
,, 5. " Ein Wanderer" (A wanderer). 

107. "Five Songs " for One Voice and Piano — 

No. I. " An die Stolze " (Pride). 
167 



Brahms 

Opus 

No. 2. " Salamander." 
„ 3. "Das Madchen spricht " (The maiden 

speaks). 
„ 4. " Maienkiitzchen " (May kittens). 
„ 5. " Madchenlied " (Maiden's song). 
121. "Four Serious Songs" for One Voice and Piano — 
(The words are taken from the Bible.) 
No. I. " Denn es gehet dem Menschen." 
„ 2. " Ich wandte mich und sahe." 
„ 3. " O Tod, wie bitter." 

„ 4. " Wenn ich mit Menschen-und mit Engels- 

zungen " (Though I speak with the 

tongues of men and of angels). 

" Mondnacht " (" Es war, als hatte der Himmel "), Song 

without Opus number, for High Voice and Piano. 

Chamber Music (without Piano). 
18. " First Sextet for Strings " in B flat. 

Allegro ma non troppo — Tema con Variazioni — 
Scherzo {allegro molio) — Rondo {poco allegretto 
e gracioso). 
36. " Second Sextet for Strings " in G major. 

Allegro non troppo — Scherzo {allegro non troppo) — 
Poco adagio — Poco allegro. 
51. " Two Quartets f)r Strings'' — 

No. I in C minor. — Allegro — Romanze {poco adagio) 
— Allegretto molto moderato e comodo — Un poco 
piu animato — Allegro. 
No. 2 in A minor. — Allegro non troppo — An- 
dante moderato — Quasi Minuetto, moderato — 
Allegretto vivace — Finale {allegro non assai). 
67. " Third Quartet for Strings " in B flat. 

Vivace— Andante — Agitato {allegretto non troppo) 
— Poco allegretto con Variazioni — Doppio movi- 
mento. 
88. " Quintet for Strings" in F major. 

Allegro non troppo ma con brio — Grave appassion- 
ato — Finale {allegro encrgico). 
III. "Second Quintet for Strings" in G major. 
168 



Appendix A 



Opus 
115. "Quintet for Clarionet and Strings" in B minor. 

Piano, with other Instruments. 
8. "Trio for Piano, Violin and 'Cello" in B. 

Allegro con moto— Scherzo {allegro tnoltd) — Adagio 
non troppo — Finale {allegro 7nolio agitato'). 

25. "First Quartet for Piano and Strings" in G minor. 

Allegro — Intermezzo {allegro non troppo) — Andante 
con moto — Rondo alia Zingarese. 

26. "Second Quartet for Piano and Strings" in F 

minor. 
Allegro non troppo— Poco adagio — Scherzo {poco 
allegro — Finale {allegro). 
34. " First Quintet for Piano and Strings " in F minor 

Allegro non troppo— Andante un poco adagio — 
Scherzo (a//<?^'r^)— Finale {poco sostenuto — allegro 
non troppo). 
38, "Sonata for Piano and Violoncello" in E minor. 

Allegro non troppo — Allegretto quasi moderato — 
Allegro. 
40. " Trio for Piano, Violin and Waldhorn (or Cello or 
Viola)" in E flat. 

Andante — Scherzo — Adagio mesto — Finale {alle- 
gro con brio). 
60, "Third Quartet for Piano and Strings " in C minor. 

Allegro non troppo — Scherzo (a//,?o'rci)- Andante — 
Finale {allegro comodo). 
78. " Sonata for Piano and Violin" in G. 

Vivace ma non troppo — Adagio — Allegro molto 
moderato. 
87. " Trio for Piano, Violin and 'Cello" in C. 

AUegio — Theme and Variations — Scherzo {presto) 
— Finale {allegj'o giocoso). 
99. "Second Sonata for Piano and Violoncello" in F. 

Allegro vivace — Adagio affettuoso — Allegro pas- 
sionate — Allegro molto. 
100, " Second Sonata for Piano and Violin " in A. 

Allegro amabile — Andante tranquillo — \' ivace 
{(ilternativo) — Allegretto grazioso {quasi andante). 
169 



Brahms 



Opus 
loi. "Trio for Piano, Violin and 'Cello" in C minor. 

Allegro energico — Presto non assai — Andante 
grazioso — Allegro molto. 
io8. " Third Sonata for Piano and Violin " in D minor. 
114. "Trio for Piano, Violin and Clarionet (or Alto)" in 

A minor. 
120. "Two Sonatas for Piano and Clarionet (or Alto)" — 
No. I in F minor. 
No. 2 in E flat. 

Concertos. 

15. " First Concerto for Piano and Orchestra " in D minor 

Maestoso — Adagio — Rondo {allegro non troppo). 
77. "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra" in D major. 

Allegro non troppo — Adagio — Allegro giocoso ma 
non troppo vivace. 
83. " Second Concerto for Piano and Orchestra " in B flat. 
Allegro non troppo — Allegro appassionato — An- 
dante — Allegretto grazioso. 
102. " Double Concerto for Violin and 'Cello and Orchestra " 
in A minor (C). 

Piano Solos. 

1. " Sonata for Pianoforte " in C. 

Allegro — Andante (introducing an Old German 
Love Song, " Verstohlen geht der Mond auf ") — 
Scherzo {allegro molto e con fuocd) — Finale 
{allegro confuoco). 

2. " Sonata for Pianoforte " in F sharp minor. 

Allegro non troppo ma energico — Andante con 
espressione — Scherzo {allegro) — Finale {Intro- 
duction^ Sostenuto — Allegro non troppo e riibato). 

4. " Scherzo for Pianoforte " in E flat minor. 

5. " Sonata for Pianoforte " in F minor. 

Allegro maestoso — Andante espressivo — Scherzo 
{allegro energico) — Intermezzo (Riickblick — an- 
dante molto) — Finale {allegro moderato ma 
rubato). 

170 



Appendix A 



Opus 

9. "Variations for Piano" on a Theme by Schumann. 
10. "Four Ballads for Piano" in D minor, D, B, and 

B minor. 
21. No. I. "Variations on an Original Theme in D." 

„ 2. "Variations (and Unale) on a Hungarian 
Theme in D." 
24. " Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Hiindel." 
35. " Studies for Piano" (Variations on a Theme by Paga- 

nini), in two books. 
76. " Eight Piano Pieces " (in two books)— 

Nos. I, 2, 5, and 8. Capriccios (F flat minor, 

B minor, C flat minor, and C). 
„ 3, 4, 6, and 7. Intermezzi (A sharp, 
B, A, and A minor). 
79. "Two Rhapsodies," No. i in B minor, No. 2 in B flat. 

116. " Fantasien " (in two books) — 

Book I. " Capriccios " in D minor and G minor. 
" Intermezzo" in A minor. 
„ II. " Intermezzi" in E, E minor, and E. 
"Capriccio" in D minor. 

117. "Three Intermezzi "in E flat, B flat minor, and C sharp 

minor. 

118. " Six Piano Pieces " — 

" Intermezzi " in A minor. A, F minor, and E flat minor. 
" Ballade" in G minor. 
" Romance" in F. 

119. " Four Piano Pieces"— 

" Intermezzi " in B minor, E minor, and C. 
"Rhapsodic" in E flat. 
" Etude, after Chopin " (in F minor). 
"Etude, after Weber" (Rondo in C). 
"Presto, from J. S. Bach" (Sonata in G minor tor 

Violin alone). 
" Presto, from J. S. Bach," for left hand alone. 
" D minor Chaconne, from J. S. Bach." for left hand 

alone (the famous Chaconne for Violin alone). 
" Gavotte in A, from Gliick " (" Paride ed Elena"). 
" Abendregen," Blatter fur Hausmusik. 
" 51 Uebungen" (Exercises or Studies), (published in 1893). 
171 



Brahms 

Opus 

Piano, Four Hands. 

23. " Variations on a Theme by Schumann." 

34B. " Sonata for Two Pianos," from Op. 34. 

39. " Waltzes." 

52. " Liebeslieder (Love Song) Waltzes," with Four Voices 

(S., A., T., B.) ad libitum. 
52A. "Liebeslieder (Love Song) Waltzes" (without Voice 

parts). 
56B. " Variations on a Theme by Haydn," from Op. 56A. 
65. " Neue (New) Liebeslieder Waltzes," with Four Voices 

(S., A., T., B.) ad libitum. 
" Hungarian Dances,'' in four books. 

Organ. 

" Fugue in A flat minor." 

" Chorale— Prelude and Fugue, ' O Traiirigkeit,'" in 
A minor. 

Besides these original works and arrangements, Brahms 
edited the " Piano Compositions of Fr. Couperin " for Chry- 
sander's " Denkmaler der Tonkunst" (Monuments of the 
Tonal Art), revised Mozart's " Requiem " for the new edi- 
tion of Mozart's works, was concerned in the complete 
edition of Chopin's works, and edited three posthumous 
works of Schubert, and the " Scherzo" and " Presto Appas- 
sionato " of Schumann. He also edited Bach's works, and 
amplified the figured-bass of two Sonatas for Violin and 
Piano by C. P. E. Bach with rare insight and self-restraint, 
so that they are a model of what such work ought to be, and 
furnished the accompaniments to an edition of Handel's 
Vocal Duets. 



172 



Appendix B 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

The amount of literature of a permanent value about 
Brahms is small, if we except a considerable quantity of 
critical material — reviews and similar writings in the form 
of essays and magazine articles. The appended list makes 
no pretence of completeness, especially as it includes no 
critical or biographical works or essays that appeared prior 
to 1880, about which time Erahms' fame may be said to 
have been incontestably established. Nor is the list of 
publications in foreign tongues large, though there is such a 
scarcity of really valuable matter in the English language 
that the author has felt it advisable to include such as have 
been useful to him in the preparation of this volume. 
The list is as follows : — 

Bie, Oscar — " History of the Pianoforte and Pianoforte 

Players," London, 1899. 
Charles, M. — "Zeitgenossische Tondichter," Leipsic, 1888. 
Conrat, Hugo — "Johannes Brahms : Souvenirs personales" 

{La Revue musicale, Paris, 1904). 
Deiters, Hermann — "Johannes Brahms" (2 vols.), 1880. 

(Translated and condensed into one volume by Rosa 

Newmarch.) 
Dietrich, Albert, and Widmann, Jos. V. — "Recollections of 

Johannes Brahms," London, 1899. (Translated bv D. 

E. Hecht.) 
Ehlert, Louis — " From the Tone World," New York, 1884. 
Ferris, George T. — "Great German Composers," New York, 

1895. 
Finck, Henry Theophilus. — "Songs and Song Writers," 

New York, 1900. 
Goepp, P. H. — " Symphonies and Their Meaning" (Second 

Series), Philadelphia, 1902. 
173 



Brahms 



Hadow, W. H.— "Studies in Modern Music" (Second 

Series), London, 1894. 
Henschel, Georg — " Personal Recollections of Johannes 

Brahms" {Century Mai^azine, Vol. LXI., New York, 

1901). 
Heuberger, R. — "My Early Acquaintance with Brahms" 

{Musical World, Vol. III., Boston, 1903). 
Hohenemser, R. — "Johannes Brahms und die Volksmusik" 

{Die Musik, Vol. II., Berlin). 
Hubbard, Elbert— "Johannes Brahms" (Little Journeys 

Series), East Aurora, New York, 1901. 
Huneker, James—" Mezzotints in Modern Music," New 

York, 1899. 
Imbert, H. — "Profils de musiciens," Paris, 1888. 

"Portraits et etudes," Paris, 1894. 

JuUien, Adolphe — "Johannes ^ra.hms^'' {Revue ijtiernationale 

de musique, Paris, 1898). 
Kalbeck, Max— "Johannes Brahms" (2 vols.), Vienna. 

(The first volume, giving the composer's life up to the 

year 1862, has just appeared in the German language.) 
Kelterborn, Louis — "Johannes Brahms" {Fatuous Com- 
posers attd Their Works, Boston). 
Klein, Hermann— "Thirty Years of Musical Life in 

London," New York, 1903. 
Kobb^, Gustav— "Johannes Brahms" {Looker- Ott, New 

York, 1896). 
Kohler, Louis— "Johannes Brahms und seine Stellung in 

der Musikgeschichte," Hanover. 
La Mara— "Johannes Brahms" {Musikalische Studien- 

kopfe, Book III., Leipsic). 
Law, Frederic S.— "Johannes Brahms" {Musician, Vol. 

IX., Boston, 1904). 
Maitland, J. A. Fuller— "Masters of German Music," 

London, 1894. 
Marsop, P.— "Musikalische Essays," Berlin, 1899. 
Mason, Daniel Gregory—" From Grieg to Brahms," New 

York, 1902. 
Mason, Dr William—" Memories of a Musical Life," New 

York, 1900. 
Musician, 77/^— " Brahms Number," Philadelphia, 1898. 

174 



Appendix B 



Musik, i9;V— "Brahms Number," Berlin, 1903. 

Neue J//<!j/y{:-Ze7/««^— Stuttgart-Leipzig, Nos. 9, 13, 18, 20, 

1897. 
Newmarch, Rosa— "Tchaikovsky : His Life and Works." 
Niemann, W — "Johannes Brahms als Klavier Komponist" 

{Die Musi/c, Vol. IL, Berlin, 1904). 
Potocka, Countess Angela— " Theodor Leschetizky," New 

York, 1903. 
Riemann, Dr Hugo— "Johannes Brahms" {Beriihmte 

Musfkcr, Berlin, 1899). 
"Johannes Brahms" {Harmonie Verlagsgeschichte, 

1899). 
Rottger, B. — " Der Entwickelungsgang von Johannes 

Brahms" {Neue Musik-Zcitioig, Vol. XXV., 1904). 
Runciman, J. F.— " Old Scores and New Readings," London, 

1899. 
Simrock, "Johannes Brahms. Thematisches Verzeichniss," 

Berlin, 1887. 
Upton, George P.— "Standard Cantatas," Chicago, 1891. 

"Standard Oratorios," Chicago, 1890. 

"Standard Symphonies," Chicago, 1891. 

Vogel, Bernhard— "Johannes Brahms. Sein Lebensgang 

und eine Wurdigung seine Werke" {Mtisikheroen der 

Neuzeit, IV., Leipsic). 
Widmann, Jos. \.—{See Dietrich). 

Besides these, there are references, more or less important, 
in the standard Dictionaries — notably Grove's, Riemann's 
and Baker's — in practically all histories of music a.nd 
biographies of musicians which touch upon the period 
during which Brahms lived, and in innumerable sketches 
and reviews which have appeared from time to time in 
magazines, newspapers and the like. 



175 



Index 



Allers, C. W,, 73 
Anne of Hesse, 60 
Austria, Emperor of, 77 

Bach, 139, 146 

Beethoven, 105, 120, 126, 127 

Bie, Oscar, 125 

Billroth, Dr, 65, 92, in 

Brahms, Elise, 4, 104 

Brahms, Fritz, 4 

Brahms, Johann Jacob, 1-3 

Brahms, Johanna, 2, 3, 42 

Brahms, Johannes : birth and par- 
entage, 1,2; father's circum- 
stances, 3 ; education, 3 ; his 
brother and sister, 4 ; knocked 
down by a drosky, 5 ; home life, 

5 ; evinces early taste for music, 

6 ; musical teachers, 6 ; fond of 
books and tin soldiers, 7 ; d^but 
as pianist, 8 ; tour with Eduard 
Remenyi, 8 ; a successful pianist, 
9 ; extraordinary memory, 10 ; 
meets Joachim, 1 1 ; at Hanover 
and Weimar, 11 ; meets Liszt, 
12 ; meets Schumann at Dussel- 
dorf, 14 ; Dietrich's opinion of 
him, 15 : Schumann's apprecia- 
tion, 16 ; in Leipsic, 18; first 
works published, 18, 19; effect 
of Schumann's article, 20 ; meets 
Rubinstein, 23 ; mannerisms, 
23, 24 ; at Detmold, 25 ; friend- 
ship for Madame Schumann, 

M 



25, 26 ; Op. 10 published, 26 ; 
new compositions, 28 ; visits 
Switzerland, 29 ; " Handel Vari- 
ations," 29 ; at Oldenburg, 30, 
32 ; goes to Vienna, 34 ; meets 
Wagner, 35 ; Chorus-master at 
the Sing-Akademie, 36 ; works 
published in 1863-66, 38-41 ; 
mother's death, 42 ; travels, 
44 ; the " German Requiem," 
45-48 ; personality, 49 ; publica- 
tions of 1868-71, 50-54 ; concert 
directorand Court Capellmeister, 
55 ; enthusiastic receptions, 56 ; 
decorated by King of Bavaria, 
57 ; presented with illuminated 
address, 58 ; popular with 
children, 59 ; aristocratic friends, 
60 ; at Sassnitz, 61 ; produces 
first Symphony, 62 ; works of 
1875-76, 62; degree of Doctor 
of Music conferred by Cambridge 
University, 63 ; visits Italy, 65 ; 
Doctor of Philosophy, 66 ; de- 
clines call to London, 68 ; 
friendship with Gottfried Keller, 
69 ; publications of 1882-86, 
70, 71 ; honours, 72 ; at Thun, 
72 ; visitors, 73 ; in Italy with 
Simrock and Kirchner, 74 ; 
Italian tour with Widmann, 75, 
76 ; decorated by Emperor of 
Austria, 77 ; again visits Italy 
with Widmann, 77 ; love of 



177 



Brah 



ms 



Italy and Italians, 78, 79 ; last 
works, 79, 80 ; last Italian 
journey, 81 ; royal friends, 82 ; 
effect of news of Madame 
Schumann's death, 83 ; last 
public appearance, 84 ; death 
at Vienna, 85 ; estate and heirs, 
85 ; statue and museum, 86 ; 
personal traits and anecdotes, 
87 et seq. ; as a musician, ii<) et 
seq. 
Bulow, Von, 20, 71, 126, 131, 
146 

" Chorale- VoRSPiEL," 68 
Conrat, Herr, 84, 88, in 
Cossell, Otto, 6 

" Deutsche Fest- und Gedenk- 

spriiche," 81 
Dietrich, Albert, 14, 22, 31-33, 

36, 42, 51, 104 
Dvorak, 65, 1 18, 133 

Ehlert, Dr Louis, 38, 142 

Fellinger, Frau, 103 
Feuerbach, Anselm, 69 
Finck, H. T., 134, 135 
" First Sonata," 17 
Freitag, Gustav, 72 

"German Folk-songs," 40 
"German Requiem," the, 42, 

45-48, 57, 85, 137, 143 
Germany, Emperor of, 72 
Gipsy Bands, 97 
Goetz, 92, 117 
Gratz Choral Society, 99 
Groth, Klaus, 73 

" HXndel Variations," 29, 33, 36 
Hanslick, Dr Edouard, 73, 87, 105 



Hausmann, Robert, 67, 75, 82 
Haydn, 105 

" Haydn Variations," 56 
Hegar, Fr., 40, 81, 82 
Henschel, Georg, 61, 95, 105 
Herbeck, 55, 58, 65 
Hesse-Barchfeld, Princess of, 60 
" Hungarian Dances," 52 

Joachim, ii, 13, 44, 46, 63, 67, 

82 
Joachim, Madame, 46 

Kalbeck, Max, 57, 73 
Keller, Gottfried, 69 
Kirchner, 29, 30, 74 
"Konig Hirsch," 113, 114 
Kreutzer Sonata, 10 

Leeds Festival, 100 

Leser, Fraulein, 22 

" Liebeslieder Waltzes," 51,71 

Liszt, 12, 13, 120, 133 

" Marienlieder," 29 
Martucci, 75, 76 
Marxsen, Eduard, 6, 7 
Mason, Dr William, 122 
Meiningen, Duke and Duchess of, 

81, 82 
Mora, no, in 
Mozart, 117 

"Nanie,"69 
Niecks, 140 
Nietzsche, 93 
Nissen, Peter, 2 

" Paganini Variations," 43 
Platen, Count, 11, 81 
Potocka, Countess, 96 



178 



Index 



Raff, 94 
Reinthaler, 45, 48 
Remenyi, Eduard, 8-10, 12, 13 
" Rhapsodic," 52 
"Rinaldo," 51, 52 
Rosing, Frau, 29, 38 
Rubinstein, 23, 94 
Runciman, J. F., 134 

Schubert, 34, 51 

Schumann, Madame, 15, 21, 25, 

26, 31, 83 
Schumann, Robert 14, 15, 20, 

21, 23, 25, 38,67 
Simrock, 65, 74 
Stockhausen, Julius, 24, 41 



Strauss, Tohann, 103 
Strauss, Madame, 103 

TONKUNSTLERVEREIN, The, 96, 

97 
" Triumphlied," 53, 56, 82, 139 
Tschaikowsky, 131 -133 

Verdi, 117 

" Volks-Kinderlieder," 41 

Wagner, 35, 74, 115, 116 
Widmann,73, 75. 76, 102, 109-I14 
Wildenbruch, Ernst von, 77 



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